Just like other crimes, all traffic offences related to driving can be considered criminal because of the threat of injury or death they can cause to the general public. Typically, these offences can include driving without due care, drunk driving, dangerous driving to avoid police pursuit, dangerous driving that causes harm, leaving the accident scene after causing injury or death, and a lot more.
Moreover, due to the offences’ criminal nature, anyone convicted of any of the ones mentioned above may have to face serious consequences, including hefty fines and penalties, license suspension or revocation, imprisonment, and many more. This is especially true if you’ve been arrested for DUI, which is one of the common causes of motorcycle and other vehicular accidents.
Thus, if you want to avoid these consequences from changing your life, below are the things you should do when you’re charged with a serious traffic offence:
- Contact A Lawyer
Dealing with a charge pertaining to a serious traffic offence can be a frustrating experience. Unless you’re an expert in handling this matter, you may need the assistance of a lawyer who can represent your rights and interests in a litigation. Also, lawyers can evaluate the circumstances of your case and determine what your options are.
Furthermore, they can provide valuable legal advice as to what the charge against you means, how you should plead, and how to come up with a strong defense strategy in your favor. In addition, your lawyer can also explain the consequences of a potential conviction and how they may impact your life.
For instance, since there’s a possibility that your driver’s license will be revoked following a serious offence, they may also recommend the acquisition of an SR22 insurance policy so you’ll have your license reinstated as soon as you can. In case you want to get to know more about this insurance, there’s a great post to read online that can help you understand the basics of SR22 insurance in Arizona or wherever you may be located.
- Know Your Rights
Once you have a lawyer by your side, the next thing you should do is to familiarize your constitutional rights as a defendant in a traffic court. By knowing your rights, you’ll be able to navigate your case more effectively and help your legal counsel create a solid defense on your behalf.
Generally speaking, when you’re aware of your rights, it’ll be easy for your lawyer to determine whether they’ve been violated in the process. That’s because in case there’s a clear violation of your constitutional rights as a defendant, your case may be potentially dismissed in court. If not, you may still be able to improve your chances of winning your case.
The following are some of the rights that you should know when you’re charged with a serious traffic offence:
- To plead guilty or not guilty to any traffic offence that you’ve been charged.
- The right against self-incrimination by choosing to remain silent.
- The right to have a competent and independent lawyer of your choice.
- The right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
- The right to an impartial jury trial.
- The right to testify or not to testify on your behalf.
- The right to equal protection under the law by having easy access to the court and by being treated equally by the law.
- Gather Proper Documentation
When dealing with a charge pertaining to a serious traffic offence, one of the important things that you should do is to secure proper documentation of what really happened. By doing this, you’ll be able to gather information and even relevant pieces of evidence that can help prove your innocence in court or at least mitigate your offence to a degree.
The following are the things that should be included in your documentation:
- Diagrams and pictures: These types of documents and records can go a long way in winning your case and getting you out of legal trouble. For example, the photographs or diagrams can help you show the facts of your case and how you can prove that you had no traffic violations that would warrant the charges against you.
- Witnesses: The testimonies of some witnesses can also be helpful in supporting your claim that you didn’t violate any traffic law before you were arrested and charged with a serious traffic offence. These persons can be someone who was a pedestrian or a driver of another vehicle that was present at the scene.
However, to make sure their testimonies can help you obtain the best possible outcome, it’s best if you determine first what they’ll say and how it’ll prove key facts about your case.
Indeed, being in court for a serious traffic offence can be overwhelming, especially if you have no idea what steps to take to fight off this legal battle and get your normal life back. But by following the things mentioned above, you’ll be able to handle your case properly.
Lastly, with the help of an experienced lawyer, you can rest knowing your rights and interests are protected throughout the criminal proceeding.