Whether it is your first offense or your fifth, driving under the influence comes with strict penalties, fines and even jail time in Pennsylvania. Your license may be suspended, and your record may affect your future ability to do things like get a job or buy a house. To protect yourself from long-term consequences, there are five things you should know anytime you are pulled over or arrested for DUI.
1. You will most likely be arrested
If you fail a field sobriety or a breathalyzer test, you will most likely be arrested. Law enforcement officers will not let you walk away, but will rather arrest you and book you down at a station. While you will get your day in court where any evidence is presented against you, there is little to no chance you will leave the scene without being arrested. During your court appearance, you will have the chance to plead guilty or innocent.
2. Your consequences may vary
Depending on if this is your first offense or you have been arrested before, your consequences may vary. Common consequences of driving under the influence include a suspended or restricted license, fines and fees associated with DUI, jail time for most repeat offenders and some first-time offenders, and probation.
3. You should change your privacy settings on social media
This is the time that anything you say or do can be used against you in court. Anything you post online may also be used against you. If friends tag you in photos where drinking was involved right before you were driving, that may be used as evidence. After your arrests, change your profile settings to increase privacy to guarantee you have control over what is posted about you.
4. You should write everything down
Details are important to a DUI case, and the more information you have, the better your chances. Write down everything you remember from your stop or arrest, even if it seems insignificant. Write down where and when you were stopped, the reason you were stopped, what device was used to give you a breath test, what you told the officer and other types of tests that were performed.
5. Find witnesses and professional representation
Find witnesses who are willing to testify on your behalf in court, whether they are family, friends or just acquaintances who saw you right before the incident. The best way to prepare witnesses to testify on your behalf is to speak to an attorney with experience in these cases.
If you have been arrested for DUI and are concerned about your future, speak to an attorney immediately.