Many people who commit a first-time DWI in New Jersey are also facing the criminal justice system for the first time in their lives. Unfortunately, there are several legal pitfalls that can ruin your chances of getting your entire case dismissed or your charges substantially reduced.
The following are the most common mistakes people make after getting arrested for drunk driving:
- Fail to take immediate action – Some people think simply ignoring the issue will make it go away. However, that is further from the truth. A conviction can result in a lengthy jail sentence, expensive fines, the loss of your driving privileges, and a permanent criminal record. If you fail to make a court appearance, you could face additional penalties.
- Plead guilty – Many people believe they are automatically guilty upon arrest. However, there is a possibility that law enforcement made a mistake and violated your rights. If you admit guilt at arraignment, you lose the opportunity to see if any of those mistakes are evident in your case. Additionally, the judge will have the discretion to sentence you to the maximum penalties.
- Share information with police officers – It is important to remember that law enforcement is not on your side. While officers may give you an opportunity to “clear your name,” telling your side of the story will only land you in further legal trouble. Whatever you say to the police can be used against you in court, so use your right to remain silent.
- Fail to fight your license suspension – You need to have the ability to drive for work-, school-, and household-related purposes. If you drive your vehicle with a suspended license and get arrested, you could face further legal trouble. As soon as you’re arrested, you must request an administrative license suspension hearing to gain some of your privileges back.
- Not hiring a lawyer – To make sure you get the best possible outcome in your DWI case, you need a criminal defense attorney to evaluate your case, figure out your available legal options, and protect your rights and reputation throughout the legal process.
If you have been arrested for a DWI in Bergen County, contact Brickfield & Donahue and schedule a free consultation today.