Montana DUI laws refer to “Under the Influence” as the inability to operate a motor vehicle due to the consumption of alcohol, drugs, or both. Often times prosecutors in Montana use several physical characteristics as evidence to prove that you are under the influence and are unable to drive safely. Such pieces of evidence may include your driving pattern, physical appearance, chemical tests, and field sobriety tests. However, the Montana law allows a judge to base the conviction solely on chemical analysis alone. Here is what to do after if you get a DUI in Montana.
- Chemical Test. Montana laws require you to take a chemical test, and it is punishable under the law if you refuse. The results of the chemical test give several data, but the most notable is your current blood alcohol level. The results allow the officer to deduce the level of alcohol in your system at the time of the arrest. Do not refuse the test because you will have much to lose.
- Contact an Attorney. Montana is full of DUI attorneys. You can follow this source to get the most reputable lawyers in Montana. Avoid using a regular lawyer because DUI laws are complex, and you need someone with a deep understanding of the Montana legal system. While a regular lawyer will represent you before the judge, a specialized DUI attorney will gain you the most favorable outcome.
- Locate a Bail Bondsman. Posting bail is often necessary after an arrest. Some people may be released without bail. However, some cases need the assistance of a bondsman. You will have to pay a certain fee upfront before they post a bond for you. While this may sound expensive, it is better than having to pay the entire bail to the court. These individuals guarantee that you are present during your hearings. In case you do not appear in all your hearings, the bail bondsman will come looking for you.
- Request a DMV Hearing. After the arrest, you will have not more than ten days to request a DMV hearing. A DMV hearing is vital because it will determine whether you will keep your driver’s license. If you do not ask for a DMV hearing, your license will be suspended.
- Prepare for Arraignment. Arraignment is the part of your trial when you enter your pleas. Do not plead guilty since you can fight your charges and win the case. However, you must make sure that your DUI attorney is experienced. If you plead not guilty, you may have a jury trial where you show that you were not driving while drunk, or you can challenge the merits of your case using other ways.
The consequences for a DUI conviction in Montana include the revocation or suspension of your driver’s license, fines, jail time, or enrollment in an alcohol and drug abuse treatment program. The judge can also require you to install an Ignition Interlock Device. You will then have to pass a breath test before you can start your vehicle.