When you are facing a DUI charge in Wisconsin, mistakes can be costly. Some mistakes can lead to unnecessary penalties, and others can result in a guilty verdict when you are entitled to walk free. As a result, you need to be very careful, and you need to know what not to do while your case is pending.
What are the mistakes you need to avoid after getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Wisconsin? Here are 10 things you should not do in order to give yourself the best chance of asserting a successful defense:
Mistake #1: Assume You Will Be Found Guilty
No matter what happened, you should never assume that you will be found guilty of DUI. Even if you were driving drunk, you could still have several defenses available. Prosecutors might not have the evidence they need to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; or, even if they have the evidence they need, it might not be admissible in court. If prosecutors can’t use their evidence against you, it doesn’t matter if you were drunk behind the wheel—the law says that you are entitled to walk free.
Mistake #2: Assume You Will Be Able to Talk Your Way Out of a Conviction
While you should not assume that you will be found guilty, you also should not assume that you will be able to talk your way out of a conviction. Facing a DUI charge is a serious matter. It is the prosecutor’s job to convict you, and it is the judge’s job to impose a sentence in accordance with Wisconsin law. If your plan is to walk into court and then walk out a free person, your case is not going to go how you want it to go.
Mistake #3: Ignore Relevant Facts
In a DUI case, all of the facts surrounding your arrest could be relevant to your defense. This includes not only what you were doing before the police stopped you, but what happened during (and even after) your DUI stop as well. With this in mind, when you are preparing to meet with a criminal defense lawyer, it is a good idea to take detailed notes. Write down everything you remember from the night in question—from where the police started following you to what the arresting officer said to you on the side of the road.
Mistake #4: Focus on Facts that Aren’t Relevant
While you need to avoid ignoring relevant facts, you also need to avoid focusing on facts that aren’t relevant to your defense. For example, if your Uber didn’t show up or your designated driver left without you, this does not justify driving under the influence. Likewise, even if you didn’t think you were too drunk to drive, if you were too drunk to drive, it doesn’t matter that you made an honest mistake.
Mistake #5: Get Another DUI
When you are awaiting trial on a DUI charge in Wisconsin, it is very important that you do not get arrested for DUI again. You want to be able to show the judge that you made a one-time mistake, and that you are remorseful about what happened. If you get another DUI, this could make it much more difficult to assert a successful defense—and it will also increase the penalties you are facing in your second DUI case.
Mistake #6: Get Stopped or Arrested for Anything Else
Just as you need to avoid getting another DUI, you also need to avoid getting stopped or arrested for anything else. When you have a DUI charge pending, any type of interaction with law enforcement can increase the risks involved. To protect yourself, avoid alcohol and drugs, carefully follow Wisconsin’s traffic laws, and avoid spending time with anyone who might get you into trouble.
Mistake #7: Overlook Potential Defenses
In addition to making sure you consider all of the facts that are relevant to your DUI case, you also need to make sure you consider all of the defenses you have available. There are a variety of potential defenses to DUI charges in Wisconsin—including defenses you can assert regardless of your BAC (or any other evidence of impairment). If you overlook defenses that you have available, you could end up getting convicted even though you are entitled to an acquittal.
Mistake #8: Ignore Options for Favorably Resolving Your DUI Case
Along with asserting defenses that can protect you against a conviction in court, you may also have other options for favorably resolving your DUI case in Wisconsin. This is true even if you were driving drunk. For example, an experienced defense lawyer may be able to help you secure a plea deal that minimizes the consequences of your DUI arrest, or you may qualify for a diversion program that allows you to avoid trial.
Mistake #9: Miss a Court Date
Regardless of the options you have available, you can lose these options if you disrespect the judicial process. This includes missing a court date. When you are facing a DUI charge, you need to make plans to be in court on time, and you should plan to be there with your defense lawyer.
Mistake #10: Try to Handle Your DUI Case on Your Own
This brings us to our last mistake: trying to handle your DUI case on your own. Due to the challenges and risks involved, you need to have an experienced defense lawyer on your side. An experienced defense lawyer can help with all aspects of your case, and hiring a defense lawyer to protect you can be the least expensive way to handle your DUI.
Discuss Your Case with a DUI Defense Lawyer in Middleton for Free
Are you facing a DUI charge in Wisconsin? If so, we can help, but it is important that you contact us right away. To get started with a free and confidential consultation, call 608-257-0440 or tell us how we can reach you online now.