If you are arrested for a DUI in Honolulu, you may have to pay up to $1,000 in fines. A first-offense DUI involves license revocation for a year, a 14-hour rehabilitation program, and there could be possible jail time of up to five years or 72 hours of community service (or fines). If you have two prior DUI convictions, you could face a Felony DUI in Honolulu; penalties include possible continuous alcohol monitoring and up to five years in prison. In some cases, the court may even order substance abuse counseling. Knowing your rights in such circumstances and taking the right steps can help your case. Here are some pointers that you need to know.
Know your rights
The arresting officer must read your rights. These rights include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. While there are penalties for refusing breath and chemical tests, you are under no obligation to take those tests. You also have the right to refuse the field sobriety test.
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Follow the basic dos and don’ts
There are a few dos and don’ts that you need to follow immediately after you are pulled over. Firstly, the officer should order you to come out of your car. Don’t step out on your own. You have the right to call an attorney immediately after your arrest, and it’s important that you don’t miss that. Hiring an attorney early allows you to work on the case. The lawyer can gather evidence, find witnesses, and get details that can help your defense. Do not argue with the investigating officer, and do not answer questions that are potentially incriminating. You don’t have to admit fault or confront the officer. Cooperate with the officer, but don’t assume that they are your friend just because they are polite.
Finding the right lawyer
You need a reputed and known DUI attorney for your case. Not all attorneys handle felony DUI charges, and therefore, experience is one of the key aspects to consider. Ask the attorney about their work in recent times and their typical defenses for DUI cases. Also, ensure that the attorney has time for your case. If you know people who can help references, that’s always an advantage, but there are numerous online websites that can come in handy. You can compare your options by checking reviews or ask the attorney for a few references.
Don’t delay calling an attorney when facing DUI charges.