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Common DUI Mistakes

The following is a list, compiled by Panama City DUI attorney Tom Hutton, of the 10 most common mistakes made by persons arrested for DUI.  Avoid these mistakes:

1.    Giving up and accepting a guilty plea from the prosecutor just so you can “get this thing behind you.”

 A DUI conviction will follow you for the rest of your life.  Simply accepting a guilty plea before fully investigating whether you have a shot at winning is short sighted.

You may think that you are “getting on with your life” by accepting a guilty plea before speaking to an attorney but that is usually not accurate.

You never know, “getting on with your life” might mean hiring an attorney and winning your case so you can “get on with your life” without the baggage of a DUI conviction.

2.    Hiring the “family friend attorney” or “neighbor attorney” to handle an area of law outside of her expertise.

You wouldn’t hire a foot doctor to operate on your heart.  If you called Panama City DUI attorney Tom Hutton and asked him to represent you with a tax issue he would give you the name and number of a qualified tax attorney.  He wouldn’t represent you.

Why?  Because he does not regularly practice tax law and he knows that he would not serve the best interest of his client if he accepted the tax case.  Think about that.

3.    Failing to apply for an Administrative Hearing to keep your license within the “10-day” time period set by the state of Florida. 

If you miss the deadline you cannot go back and apply for this important hearing.  If you contact him in time Tom Hutton can actually extend the amount of time that you can drive on your temporary permit and perhaps even keep your license from being suspended at all.

4.    Mistakenly believing that a result of .08 or higher means you cannot fight your DUI arrest. 

These cases are the bread and butter of a good DUI attorney and they can be won.  While it is certainly more difficult to win a case with a breath result it is far from impossible.

In addition, a DUI attorney might be able to have the results dismissed prior to trial.  You won’t know unless you contact a Panama City DUI attorney to help you.

5.    Continuing to drive when your license was suspended for DUI. 

Don’t make matters worse by being arrested for driving on a suspended license while your DUI case is pending.

6.    Failing to realize that police officers often violate your Constitutional Rights during a DUI arrest. 

Leave it to your Panama City DUI attorney to determine if evidence can be thrown out of court for a violation of your rights.

7.    Mistakenly believing that you can adequately represent yourself in court for your DUI arrest. 

You could probably take out your own tonsils with a sharp knife too.  But why would you try? Leave DUI law to the trained DUI attorney.  DUI law is highly technical and your attorney knows how to get you through the process with as little harm done as possible.

8.    Choosing to hire an attorney based solely upon what he will charge to represent you. 

You’ve heard the adage “you get what you pay for” and it is true.  Now is not the time to value shop.

9.    Believing that hiring an attorney is more costly than accepting a guilty plea for DUI. 

This is far from the truth.  Your DUI attorney will charge you a one-time fee. 

A DUI conviction will follow you forever and will pop up when you: apply for health, life, or auto insurance; apply for a new job or try to keep your current job; apply for admission to college, grad school, or a professional license; even when you apply for credit or a loan.  

10.   Talking to the prosecutor or police officer about your      case before hiring a DUI attorney to help you. 

The police officer or prosecutor might actually be a nice person – but that doesn’t matter.  He or she has a job to do and that job is making sure that you are convicted of DUI. 

If you’re going to talk to someone and trust someone then make sure it is your attorney.  Your attorney is in your corner and it is his job, and his sworn duty, to protect you.


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