Five Pieces of Information You Should Share With Your DUI Attorney
Getting a DUI is a scary thing for anyone, and it doesn’t help that law enforcement usually tries very hard to impress upon you how serious the situation is at the time of the arrest. You absolutely must have a DUI attorney to get the best outcome in this situation. The best DUI attorneys in Johnson County, KS know the local laws in and out and will be able to work on your behalf effectively. But they can only do their jobs if you are open and honest with them.
Five Pieces of Information You Should Share With Your Johnson County, KS DUI Attorneys
If you have ever been convicted of a crime before, it’s absolutely essential that your attorney knows this. You can be sure that this will come out from the DA’s office or in court anyway, so there’s really no reason not to discuss it openly right from the beginning. If your attorney is aware of these convictions, he or she will be able to plan out how to deal with the way it will bear on your case. Otherwise, you risk your attorney being blindsided suddenly and having to scramble to come up with the best way to defend you.
It is especially important for you to mention any offenses that involved alcohol or drugs, as this could increase the penalties you face. Even if your conviction happened years ago or in another state, be sure to let your attorney know. If you have been arrested for a DUI or any sort of drug or alcohol-related misdemeanor in the past, even if you were acquitted, this is also something you should share with your lawyer.
The Truth About The Incident
There is absolutely no reason to hide the truth from your lawyer. Your attorney is bound by attorney-client privilege not to reveal what you say, and your attorney is bound by oath to work on your behalf. You can trust your lawyer. Were you drinking or taking drugs before you were arrested for your DUI? Be honest with your attorney so he or she can formulate the best defense. It’s much better to know the truth going in.
Of course, some people are falsely accused, and that could easily be you. On the other hand, if you did drive under the influence, your initial inclination might be to minimize your actions, which is perfectly natural. However, the consequences of doing this with your lawyer can be severe.
For example, if you insist to your attorney that you were not drinking before your arrest, he or she will plan one type of defense. If it later comes out that you were at a party before the arrest and there are 10 people who can testify that they saw you drinking there, that whole defense will be destroyed. If you simply tell your attorney the truth right from the beginning, he or she can plan an effective defense and attack the DA’s case from the right angle.
Information On Any Medical Conditions
You might initially think that your medical conditions have nothing to do with your DUI, but you could be wrong. Medical conditions can affect how you perform on a field sobriety test administered by law enforcement, for example.
There are several medical conditions and legally prescribed medications that could affect your case, so be sure to share all this information with your lawyer right away. Some of it may not be relevant, but your attorney will know best.
Things You Said During the Stop
Most people, unfortunately, start talking as soon as they are stopped by the police. Even though they know that it’s best to remain silent, it’s such a normal human reaction to talk when nervous that it’s hard for us to avoid it.
Anything you say can be used against you in court, so be sure to tell your attorney anything you told the police and the answers you gave to any questions they asked.
How You Did on the Field Sobriety Test
If the arresting officers performed a field sobriety test on you because they had reason to believe you were driving under the influence, be sure to tell your attorney how that went. In some cases, if you did well on these tests, your attorney needs to know this because the officer may not have had a legitimate reason to arrest you.
On the other hand, if you say that you did well on them, but then video from a dash-mounted camera on the police car shows that you did not, your attorney will be surprised when the police release this evidence and will have to plan a whole different defense.
Talking With Your Attorney
Just remember that when you go to talk with your attorney, he or she will ask you questions to understand the situation. Some of these questions may seem irrelevant to you, but trust your lawyer in this matter. Your lawyer knows what information will be most helpful in getting you the best outcome and will also know what information is harmful to your case and needs to be planned around. Your lawyer will not ask a question unless it’s necessary.
Think of talking to your lawyer much as you do talking to your doctor. You don’t want to tell everyone about your every ache and pain, but you wouldn’t hide these from your doctor because doctors work on your behalf and keep your information private. You have a similar relationship with your lawyer. You don’t want to tell the police anything more than you absolutely have to, but you should tell your lawyer everything. Your lawyer is working on your behalf to get you the best possible outcome and will not share what you say with other people.
What You Should Not Say Outside Your Lawyer’s Office
No matter how aggravating the police are, be polite to them. Cooperate fully without giving them any information. This will get you the best possible outcome.
Avoid saying anything that could be taken as an admission of guilt. This could be something as simple as “I’m sorry.” You could simply mean that you are sorry for the trouble, or you could just be saying “sorry” as a reflex, which is common in our culture. But it could be argued later that you said this because you knew you were doing something illegal and were expressing regret.
Anything to Minimize the Incident
Don’t, for example, say that you were almost home. It doesn’t matter if you were driving a long distance or a short one: driving while under the influence is illegal in any case. Also, don’t bring up the names of anyone you know, like a police officer, judge, lawyer, or mutual acquaintance of the arresting officer. You can contact these people later, but at the moment, just stay silent.
A DUI arrest is very serious, but there are some effective defenses that can get you a better outcome than you may fear. The key is contacting an excellent and experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Henderson Legal Defense LLC immediately if you’ve been charged with a DUI.