If you have been arrested for a first-time OUI in Connecticut, this may also be your first time facing the criminal justice system. Unfortunately, there are certain mistakes people commonly make that result in further legal trouble.
Here are the most common mistakes people make after getting arrested for an OUI:
- Doing nothing – Simply ignoring an OUI charge doesn’t mean it will disappear. Additionally, it’s not like a traffic ticket where you pay a fine to resolve your case. A conviction for a first OUI offense in Connecticut is punishable by a maximum six-month jail term, up to $1,000 in fines, driver’s license suspension for 45 days and an Ignition Interlock Device Requirement for one year, and a permanent criminal record that could haunt you for the rest of your life. Furthermore, you could be subject to an arrest warrant if you fail to attend mandatory court hearings. Whether it is your first or fourth offense, you need to take the OUI charge seriously.
- Speaking to law enforcement – Many people try to “talk to their way out” of an arrest, attempting to describe the situation as a misunderstanding. While the police may appear to be on your side, they are actually collecting evidence to use against you at trial. As soon as you are arrested, invoke your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
- Pleading guilty – An arrest is not the same as a conviction, so you shouldn’t automatically believe you are guilty of drunk driving. If you plead guilty, you lose the opportunity to determine if mistakes by law enforcement were made during the investigation or if there are any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. In addition, the judge has the discretion to charge you with the maximum penalties.
- Not fighting your driver’s license suspension – Whether you fail a post-arrest chemical test or refuse to take one, the state DMV will automatically impose a suspension of your driving privileges. If suspended, you will then be required to install and maintain an IID as a condition of our license being reinstated. Losing the ability to drive can make it difficult to commute to work, attend classes, perform household tasks, and take care of other important matters. To fight your driver’s license suspension, you must request a DMV hearing seven days from the date of the letter you receive following your arrest.
- Not hiring a lawyer – To avoid making all these mistakes, having a criminal defense attorney on your side can make a significant difference. Your lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system, investigate your case, analyze evidence gathered by the police, and create an effective and personalized defense strategy to get the best outcome possible.
At The Sills Law Firm, we are committed to helping our clients facing OUI charges either get their entire case dismissed or their charges reduced to avoid serving jail time or other penalties. When it comes to your future, it is essential to reach out to our experienced legal team immediately.
Do not hesitate to contact us at (860) 524-8118 and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case today.