Additional DUI Penalties Related DUI Offenses
In most cases, a person charged with a DUI will face some additional charges besides their DUI. The reasons for this vary, but are inherently tied in some way to the stop and/or arrest of a person charged with a DUI.
Why was I stopped?
Your arresting officer had to have a reason to stop you. Many times this is because you committed some traffic violation in his or her presence that prompted them to stop you. Speeding, running a red light or stop sign, swerving, riding up on a curb, these are but a few examples of ticketable offenses that can cause you to be stopped and ultimately arrested for DUI. If you are charged with a DUI and receive any other traffic tickets, it is imperative that you not simply pay the tickets before speaking to a lawyer first.
If you pay, for example, a speeding ticket that was the reason you were pulled over and ultimately charged with a DUI, what you are doing is essentially admitting you were speeding. This could have an impact on your defense and hinder your attorney’s effectiveness. Additionally, if that ticket was for driving that was considered to be evidence of your impairment, an experienced attorney will in many cases be able to convince the judge in your case to dismiss that ticket if you are found guilty of a DUI or a lesser charge. Contact us today before you take any action on your DUI and related tickets.
Another reason an officer can pull you over is if the vehicle you are driving is registered to an owner that has an outstanding warrant for their arrest, or if that owner’s driver’s license is suspended, cancelled, or revoked (DWLS). This is a free pass for the officer to stop the car long enough to determine who the driver is. If it is that person, then they will be arrested on the warrant or for DWLS.
But, if you happen to be borrowing someone else’s car, even after they confirm you were not the person they were looking for, if during your contact with officer your glassy, bloodshot eyes, thick or slurred speech, odor of alcohol about your breath and/or your inability to comply with instructions cause the officer to suspect you are DUI, he or she is free to proceed with a DUI investigation anyway. If you were arrested for an outstanding warrant, or are charged with a DWLS charge in addition to your DUI, we can handle all of your traffic and criminal charges.
Post-DUI Arrest Charges
After you are arrested for DUI, an officer will in almost every case search your vehicle under the authority of what is called an ‘inventory search.” This is permitted when your vehicle is being towed or impounded to protect the officer from an arrested person claiming some valuable item or quantity of money was in the car when they were arrested and disappeared by the time they got out of jail and got their car back. In the past, this lead to accusations of theft being made against police officers. Now all items in the vehicle are documented in the officers DUI report.
While that sounds like it protects everyone in the situation, if you happen to have anything in your car that is evidence of another crime, such as left over bits of marijuana, illegal narcotics, drug paraphernalia, stolen merchandise, or concealed firearms not properly secured, just to name a few possibilities, then you can rest assured you will be charged with those crimes as well. Legal defenses to these charges are limited if the items are found during an inventory search, but an experienced criminal defense attorney may still be able to fight to exclude such evidence, depending on the facts of your case.
Sometimes people find out they are being arrested and freak out, partially due to the stress of the moment and their compromised thinking process caused by the same impairment inducing substance that got them stopped in the first place. They may try to run away on foot or even in their vehicle. Sometimes they try to physically resist an officer handcuffing them or physically directing them to a particular spot, such as the back of their police cruiser. Any of these actions can lead to additional Misdemeanor or Felony criminal charges of Obstructing or Opposing an Officer With or Without Violence, Fleeing and Eluding, or Assault or Battery on a Police Officer.
Some people, once arrested, express their displeasure by lashing out in the back of a patrol car with their legs and feet, causing damage to the interior, and even breaking windows. This will result in your being hog-tied to prevent any further injury to yourself or the car, and a charge of Criminal Mischief if you damaged anything in the car. Depending on the damage done, this can be either a Felony or Misdemeanor.
Occasionally, people carry a small quantity of legally prescribed medication, or illegally possessed drugs or medications on their person. If you are arrested, the officer will search you for weapons or contraband. Although most searches are thorough, officers do miss these items occasionally. And, given the fact you might actually be impaired and are nervous about the circumstances, you might forgot the item is there. If you are booked into the jail and searched again and these items are found, you can be charged with Smuggling Contraband Into a Jail or Detention Facility, which is a Felony Offense.
In any of these events, you have additional legal problems beyond those related to your DUI. Contact our office today for a free consultation to discuss your options.