If you were recently arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you need to act fast to defend your rights. The consequences of a DUI can be life-changing, especially if someone was seriously injured or if a substantial amount of property was damaged as a result. However, any DUI charge can have lasting penalties. What you do next is crucial. In order to determine the best way to preserve your rights and protect your future, make sure you know what to do after a DUI arrest.
1. Remain Civil
Even before you’ve been arrested, you should always remain civil to law enforcement officers. According to Tennessee law, drivers suspected of DUI must submit to either a blood or breath test, but they may refuse a field sobriety test. However, being asked to take such tests can be stressful and aggravating. Lashing out may feel satisfying in the moment, but it could make your situation much worse. Instead of acting defensively or angrily, remain civil to the officer before, during, and after your arrest. Resisting arrest or assaulting anyone during your time in jail could worsen the situation, leading to additional charges and more severe consequences.
2. Submit to Testing
According to Tennessee law, drivers suspected of DUI must submit to either a blood or breath test, but they may refuse a field sobriety test. State laws say that all drivers agree to such testing when they acquire a license, which means you must provide some way for the officer to determine whether or not you have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level above the legal limit. If you do, you will likely face DUI charges.
3. Call Your Attorney
The arresting officers may attempt to get information from you, such as confirmation that you have been drinking. The best way to protect your rights after a DUI is to say nothing until you speak with an experienced attorney. Once you’ve spoken with your lawyer and explained the details of your particular situation, they will be able to guide you and tell you what your options are.
After you’ve dealt with the most immediate concerns, its time to start thinking about your future. A knowledgeable DUI attorney can explain to you how the legal process works in Tennessee, including what you can expect from your arraignment, or first court appearance. Working with a DUI attorney you can trust is crucial because they will be your guide throughout this trying process.
For help after your DUI arrest, contact Casey, Simmons & Bryant, PLLC to discuss your options with our Jackson criminal defense attorneys.