Being arrested for a DUI in Philadelphia comes with a whole host of serious consequences. You may have to serve time in jail, plus you’ll have fines to pay. If you have additional charges, like speeding or reckless driving, tacked onto the DUI, will only exacerbate those consequences. Plus, many jobs, leasing offices and loan officers will conduct a background check if you apply — and a DUI is a big red flag.
Luckily, a skilled DUI attorney can often get those charges reduced or, in some cases, dropped altogether. They know what the courts are looking for, and what evidence is often seen as flimsy at best. However, with all that attorneys know, what is often out of their control is the action of their clients. With a simple word or actions, you could sabotage your entire case. Here’s how to avoid doing so:
Don’t Blab About the Case
It’s 2016; if you aren’t putting your entire life on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, you’re doing it wrong. While posting about the newest drink at your favorite coffee shop or giving a review of the latest superhero movie on social media is normal, posting about your DUI case can spell disaster. Too often, people overexpose themselves online. If you post about how you are going to get out of these charges, you could see your case quickly turn sour.
Even if you have your privacy settings set to “friends only,” and even if you delete the post, prosecutors can still get access to it. Even if you aren’t boasting about how you can beat the system, play it safe and keep mentions of your DUI off social media. Besides, why would you want to broadcast that you’re in trouble with the police?
Don’t Fall Back into Old Habits
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, chances are your license was suspended. You may have been granted a provisional license to get to school or work while your case goes to trial, but there are restrictions on that. Not obeying a court-ordered suspension or any other sanctions could mean facing hundreds of dollars in additional fines and even an extended sentence. And you can bet the courts won’t show any kind of leniency.
Whether you are allowed to drive or not while you’re awaiting trial, you should probably avoid certain situations. Alcohol got you into trouble in the first place. Don’t be caught partying or drinking in public. If word of that gets to the court — and it easily can — any kind of mercy the judge may have shown will evaporate quickly. After all, if you can’t go a few weeks without getting drunk, maybe you do need time in jail to really sober up.
Show Up On Time to Your Court Date
Don’t mistake a court date as a suggestion. Courts always have full dockets, and your scheduled appearance is a serious matter. A judge likely won’t wait long for you to arrive. If you don’t come forward when they call your name, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest. That, on top of a DUI charge, all but guarantees a more severe punishment. Get to the courthouse early, looking professional, so you have time to consult with your legal counsel and answer to the judge appropriately.
Of course, the biggest mistake you can make is to face a drunk driving charge without an attorney. Chances are, you are not an expert in local laws, sobriety test procedures, cross-examination and other factors that can make or break your case. If you have been arrested for a DUI in Philadelphia, contact the Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis. Your first consultation is free. Call today.