What to Know If You’ve Been Pulled Over for a DUI
If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged by the police for drunk driving, also known as DUI/DWI, you may be scared of what that means for your criminal record, your driver's license, and your future. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help explain your charges, examine the on-duty officer's behavior, protect your future rights, and try to resolve your case in the best possible way. At Wiberg Law Office, PLLC, we have many years of experience helping people charged with DWI/DUI and defending charges such as these.
The Police Are Always Gathering Evidence
The moment an officer pulls your car over and suspects you of drunk driving, the police are gathering evidence to use against you. One of the most important things you can do during the interaction with the police during a traffic stop is to know about your rights! You have a right to remain silent, a right to speak to an attorney before speaking to the police, and have an attorney to represent you if you are being accused, charged, or arrested for a crime such as DWI/DUI.
The police can use their observations of how you are driving – whether you are driving too fast, too slow, in the wrong lane, without your headlights on, swerving, or forgetting to use a turn signal – as evidence that you are intoxicated or impaired. The police can use their observations of your physical appearance when they pull you over — whether you have slurred speech, bloodshot and watery eyes, a flushed face, smell like alcohol, or your clothing is disheveled — as evidence that you are intoxicated or impaired.
The police are considering all of these observations before they even ask if you have been drinking. If you admit to the police that you have been drinking alcohol or using intoxicants, you are helping them gather evidence against you.
The police may next ask you to step out of the car or perform sobriety tests. These are tests that may appear very simple, but the police are gathering evidence against you every step of the way. If you don’t follow instructions exactly, or if you misstep or fall down, or if you perform the test less than perfectly, the police can use this as evidence you are intoxicated or impaired. And finally, the police can ask you to perform a chemical test to establish your blood alcohol content (BAC). Examples of chemical tests commonly used in DUI/DWI cases are a breath test, where you breathe into a machine that calculates your BAC, or a blood test, where a sample of your blood is taken and tested in a lab. A BAC of .08% or more is considered intoxicated in New Hampshire. If the police are able to gather this type of evidence, it can be very powerful evidence that you are intoxicated or impaired.
Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer handle plea bargaining negotiations with the prosecutor can make a huge difference. We are well versed in different ways to get evidence against you suppressed and what all potential penalties can be following a conviction. Every person charged with DUI/DWI is different, but the prosecutor sometimes takes a one-size-fits-all approach based on what the police say your BAC was. We know every person has a diverse background and can present information about you to the prosecution to persuade them to make a more lenient offer or sentence recommendation.
In New Hampshire, the penalties for being convicted of DUI/DWI can range from a fine and loss of license to imprisonment. You may also be sentenced to probation, have to submit to alcohol and drug screenings and treatment programs, and have your driver’s license suspended or revoked. In New Hampshire, you may also have to participate in the Impaired Driver Care Management Program (IDCMP), which can require inpatient or outpatient treatment, random testing, and drug and alcohol monitoring. The statutory penalties are designed to become worse if you have had any previous convictions for drunk driving or if your blood alcohol level is 0.16 or higher.
It is essential to speak to an attorney as soon as possible if you have been stopped by the police or arrested and charged with DUI/DWI in Portsmouth, Dover, Manchester, Salem, or anywhere else in Rockingham County, Strafford County, Hillsborough County, Carroll County, Belknap County, and Merrimack County, your criminal defense lawyer can help to reduce the amount of evidence against you that the police are able to gather and try to reduce the impact of any evidence they already have. We have handled many cases just like this, know the Court system here in New Hampshire, and can help you navigate this time of your life.
DUI/DWI Attorney in
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Wiberg Law Office, PLLC is available to serve clients who have been arrested or charged with a DUI/DWI in Portsmouth, Hillsborough, Dover, Manchester, Rockingham County, Carroll County, and Strafford County, or other locations in New Hampshire or Eastern Massachusetts. We are proud to help you defend yourself against these charges and fight to preserve your rights. We will help formulate a defense and resolve your case in your best interest.