A DUI conviction can carry serious consequences. In addition to jail time, fines, community service, and mandatory alcohol counseling, you could face the suspension of your driver’s license. You will also have a criminal conviction on your record. It is important to protect your constitutional rights during any traffic stop. If charges are filed, you need the advice of a St. John DUI lawyer to help protect you from an unlawful conviction.
During any traffic stop, you should be polite to the officer. You don’t have to give in to all of his or her demands, but it is important to be respectful. The officer can ask for your identification, and you should provide it willingly.
What you don’t have to do is answer incriminating questions. A favorite question of officers conducting traffic stops is whether you have been drinking that day. Any answer you give could incriminate you in violation of your Fifth Amendment rights. You should politely decline to answer this question and others that could potentially incriminate you.
An officer may ask you to take a breath test. This, too, could incriminate you, and you do have the right to refuse. (If the officer gets a warrant to test your blood or breath, you no longer have the right to refuse.) But it is important to understand that there are consequences to refusing an alcohol test. Like other states, Indiana has enacted an “implied consent” law. This means that consent to alcohol testing is implied by the law, simply for the privilege of driving on public roads in this state. Failure to consent to a test can result in the suspension of your driver’s license. This can be challenged at an administrative hearing, but you are not guaranteed to get your driving privileges reinstated. Be sure to carefully consider the consequences of refusing a breath test before you choose to do so.
A DUI conviction can result in jail time, fines, fees, and community service. These are typical punishments for any criminal conviction. But DUIs can also carry other collateral consequences. Many defendants have their driving privileges suspended. If you have multiple DUI convictions, your license may be revoked altogether. You may also have to pay to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. Judges will usually order alcohol screening or substance abuse counseling after a DUI conviction (or plea of guilty).
It is important to understand how these consequences will affect other areas of your life. If your job requires driving, you might be fired for having a suspended license. A criminal conviction can make it more difficult to secure housing, employment, or access to credit. The collateral damage of a DUI conviction can follow a defendant for years to come.
A DUI conviction can carry many collateral consequences that follow defendants for years to come. You can protect your constitutional rights and mitigate the collateral damage of a conviction by working with an experienced St. John DUI lawyer. The skilled attorneys at Arshad Pangere Warring know how to handle DUI cases. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.
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