To plead guilty or not guilty: That is the question

The last thing you expected after meeting your friends for supper at a local Alabama restaurant was that police would pull you over on your way home. The officer said one of your brake lights was not functioning properly. At first, you didn’t think the situation was a big deal, until the police officer asked you if you drank any alcohol in the past couple hours. You remembered enjoying a small glass of wine at dinner, and stressed over whether or not to share this information with the officer.

In such situations, the only questions you must answer are those pertaining to basic personal identification and vehicle information. You can choose to invoke your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent until you have the opportunity to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney. Many drivers think it’s better to admit alcohol consumption upfront; in fact, some people plead guilty when charged with DUI because they think it’s the most viable option.

Every DUI situation is different

What may be the best way for you to proceed in such circumstances may not be as good a choice for another motorist. Obtaining a positive outcome when facing DUI charges in this or any other state often depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to your driving record and criminal history. If police charge you with driving under the influence of alcohol, keeping the following in mind may help you stay out of jail:

  • There are possible administrative penalties associated with Breathalyzer refusal in Alabama; however, this test is 100 percent voluntary.
  • Many factors can cause false positive DUI results on a Breathalyzer test.
  • An experienced attorney can argue that a breath test device was not properly calibrated for a particular person’s body composition.
  • Some people plead not guilty following collisions with no personal injuries involved because they hope to receive plea agreement offers from prosecutors.
  • Others plead not guilty to DUI, but guilty to lesser charges.
  • Drunk driving is a criminal offense, not a traffic violation. It’s important to keep this in mind when considering your plea options.

A drunk driving arrest can turn your entire life upside down in an instant. If a motor vehicle collision occurred, and another person suffered injury or death, you will likely face potentially severe penalties if the court hands down a conviction. Even before going to trial, a DUI charge can negatively impact your professional and personal reputation.

Although it’s permissible, it’s typically never a good idea to fight drunk driving charges alone. The chances of avoiding conviction are much greater when a defendant enlists the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. You can request legal representation as soon as an officer detains you. Your attorney can then remain by your side throughout the adjudication process.