Ok, so you have been arrested and convicted of DUI. It’s definitely not something to be proud of, but it is also something that can happen to just about anyone. In the United States the legal blood alcohol limit is only .08%. That’s roughly the equivalent of two alcoholic beverages for the average adult. You could have been out to dinner with your spouse, had some wine with dinner and be legally over the limit. It’s that simple. There is still an ugly stigma attached to DUI and DWI charges. As with any criminal offense, you need hire a drug lawyer in Toronto immediately upon being charged. Most of the time your lawyer will advise you against DUI disclosure. There are a number of reasons you shouldn’t disclose the details, and they are usually to protect your own best interests until you get your day in court.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty -
As with the majority of criminal charges in the United States you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, when you are charged with DUI or DWI, this may not always be the case — especially if you actually are intoxicated. In most states in the US, if an officer suspects alcohol use, you will have to submit to a breathalyzer test, along wit other tests that look for visible signs of impairment. Examples include reaction times to commands, proper motor functioning, and the ability to walk in a straight line.These are all subjective and are really at the discretion of the charging officer.
If the officer asks you to take the breathalyzer test and you register over the legal limit, you have just established hard evidence that can damage your case. In many states, if you refuse to take the test you can face even more complications, such as automatic license revocation. The laws surrounding DUI and DWI are extremely complicated, and if you are sharing the details of your charges with friends, family, and all over town, this may not bode well for you when it comes to your day in court.
Disclosure to your lawyer is the best way to go until you are sure of how the charges are going to play out. In addition, being charged with DUI and being convicted of DUI are two very different things.You may be charged today, but your actual conviction could take up to a year to be handed down. During that time period, it is wise to keep the details of your case between you and your legal counsel and perhaps a trusted spouse or friend. You don’t want to potentially damage your own defense.
When you Must Disclose -
There are times when you must disclose your DUI or DWI. Depending on where you live, disclosure may actually be required. If an employer directly asks if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you should be honest if your state laws require it. The question could be asked verbally, or it could be printed on a formal employment application. In the United States, it is illegal to make a hiring decision based on the disclosure of a DUI on an employment application. The best thing to do is to be honest, but again you do not need to disclose full details. A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is sufficient in these instances. If you suspect that after disclosing your DUI, an employer has not hired you due to the conviction, you should seek legal counsel immediately.
Being convicted of a DUI is an extremely sensitive subject. You don’t want to allow it to ruin your life, but you also need to be realistic and cautious in the way you handle the situation. The DUI will cost you financially and emotionally, and perhaps even have negative effects on your relationships, your ability to commute to work, and more. You do not have to disclose the details of your DUI to anyone other than a potential employer and only if it is required in your specific state. If your DUI has been expunged from your record, you don’t have to disclose it at all. Always seek legal counsel if you are unsure what to do as far as disclosure.