What Is The Pre-Arrest Investigation And Is There Anything A Person Can Do To Help Their Case Between The Time Of Arrest And Court?
All of the things an Officer does from the time he first sees your car to the time he puts you in a police car are part of the pre-arrest investigation. Make no mistake, before the Officer approaches your window, he has already been observing your driving, looking into your car if he can to see what movements you’re making within the car, etc. He is looking to prove that a crime is occurring. There’s an old saying that “to they who work with hammers, everything looks like a nail.” Well, police officers are trained crime-finders. They are always looking for crime, even many times when none has been committed. Literally, every action you take when you have uninvited interaction with a police officer is under tight scrutiny. That’s why it is best to make that investigation as short as possible. The best way to do it is to shut it down right at the beginning, by asking for a lawyer. The longer you interact, the more evidence against you they have.
After there is an arrest that has been made, there are things that people can do to help their case. They need to be proactive about their defense. They need to find a good attorney who is going to fight for them. A lot of people just want to go in and plead their case to the judge or they think it is just going to get dismissed at that first court hearing but that is not true. People with that mindset, and who do not seek out a good attorney, also lose out on a potential opportunity to save their license or reduce the negative consequences for their license. There are also opportunities an attorney can take before the case is even charged to make it easier to defend the case once it is charged.
When you get arrested for a DUI, there are typically two separate cases that come out of it. There is one that gets filed by the officer with the Criminal Court and there is one that gets filed with the MVD through the admin per se affidavit process. Any good attorney knows the process that has to be followed in order to help minimize the consequences on the license and also to gather evidence through the MVD process to be used in the criminal case in the Criminal Court.
Oftentimes, there is a very limited timeframe for that. If the officer takes somebody who has been arrested for a DUI, takes that person’s license and serves them with the admin per se affidavit, they are supposed to advise them that if they do not challenge their license in fifteen days, there will be an automatic suspension. That is not true if you get a good DUI attorney involved. A common mistake that people make after they have been arrested is just admitting it and owning it. Although honesty is a good quality for people to have, when you get into the world of criminal charges and DUI charges, it is not just a question of whether you should accept responsibility. There is also the question of if you accept responsibility, are the consequences for doing that going to be fair or are they going to be better?
The reality is there is a time and a place in most cases to accept responsibility, but it is never with the police officer, and it is rarely with the judge at one of those first hearings. A lot of people just think, “Well, I shouldn’t get a defense attorney, I shouldn’t fight this because I’m guilty. I mean I did it, I just need to accept responsibility, take my stripes and move on.” The truth is the consequences for doing that may be unfair and in many cases too harsh. A good defense attorney will find a way for you to reduce the consequences that you would otherwise have and still give you the opportunity to accept responsibility for what you did. In some cases, it is appropriate to go all the way to trial and to fight it to the very end and never accept responsibility, especially if you did not do it that is obviously the right path. However, there is more to what you should consider than just, “Am I guilty or not?”
Basically, if you are guilty, there are still a lot of reasons why you should hire a good attorney and that is going to make sure that the consequences are fair and not unduly harsh. One other thing is that a lot of people think, “Well, I can just go and tell the judge that I am a good person. The judge is going to see that I am a good person and the judge is going to have mercy on me.” The reality is that without experience, you just do not know what a judge is going to do. Some judges are very hard on crime; some judges are a little bit more understanding and compassionate. There is a lot of political pressure on judges to be tough on crime because that is what the voters want in general. It is interesting that voters in general will say, “Well, I think, that we should be tough on crime” but when they themselves are affected by seeing a friend or even an acquaintance go through the criminal justice system, most people end up being shocked at how merciless the system really is.
Therefore, it is very important that those arrested for DUI find a good attorney that can give them the right advice and fight for them. Lastly, people often make the mistake of thinking, “Well, I can’t afford an attorney.” The reality is that most criminal attorneys, including Tait & Hall, give FREE consults on DUI cases. There is no harm in going in and at least speaking to an attorney. A lot of law firms, including Tait & Hall, will allow you to create a payment plan to make defending a DUI something that is affordable.
Do People Tend To Make Price A Huge Factor In Determining Whether Or Not They Are Going To Get An Attorney And Underestimate Just How Serious The Long Term Effects Of A DUI Are Going To Be?
Yes, absolutely. Many people who get DUIs do not understand that the fines that they are going to face can be exorbitant. The loss of their driving privileges can have huge economic consequences. There is jail time in Arizona. There is mandatory jail on every single DUI unless you can negotiate with the prosecutor something different or just beat the case outright. All of those factors are things that an attorney is just naturally going to be better at. In the long term, spending some money on an attorney on the front end can actually save you thousands of dollars in the long run because they will help avoid a lot of those extremely costly and expensive consequences that the law builds into DUI convictions.
How Important Is It To Have An Experienced DUI Defense Attorney?
You really need somebody defending you who is a DUI attorney and who knows what they are doing. You cannot just get any criminal defense attorney to defend a DUI case because, for one thing, there is a lot of science involved. If you hire a defense attorney who doesn’t understand the science behind a gas chromatography machine (used for testing blood) or an Intoxilyzer (used for testing breath), you are doing yourself a huge disservice, because right from the gate, you are losing a huge portion of the effective techniques qualified defense attorneys use to fight DUIs. There are also consequences for DUIs that are not common to other types of criminal cases. If your attorney doesn’t have a lot of education and experience with DUIs, chances are, he or she is going to miss some important items that could have helped your case tremendously.
Go Through The List Of Things You Need To Take Care Of To Get A Successful Outcome In A DUI Case or call the law office of Tait & Hall for a FREE Initial Consultation at (480) 405-6767 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.