Driving under influence (DUI) is a serious offense involving a person driving behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated or impaired by drugs to a level that is deemed dangerous to the safety of other traffic participants.
DUI charges can have major consequences and a negative impact on a person’s life. You can have your license suspended and even completely revoked. A DUI charge might also bring high court costs, penalties, other fees, hours of community service, and serving jail time.
Even if you’ve had one drink, the results of a DUI arrest can be equally severe and therefore you should not take it lightly but immediately take action.
In this article, we look at the steps you should consider taking as they can be vital to your protection and for the DUI case outcome.
Call A Lawyer
The moment your car is pulled over might feel scary, especially when law enforcement officials start asking you all kinds of questions. You might feel confused as to what is happening, and wonder what to expect after a DUI arrest. Calling a lawyer is of utmost importance when charged with DUI because if you wait too long you can risk losing your license or any evidence that could’ve effectively helped your defense.
Laws involving DUI are quite complex and require an in-depth understanding of the legal system and this is why being represented by a specialized DUI lawyer can be the best solution when you’re looking to get a favorable result. A skilled lawyer will guide you through the process and ensure things go smoothly regardless of the circumstances.
Request a DMV Hearing
When arrested and charged with DUI, the officer might take your driver’s license right after completing the breath test or even if the driver refuses to take this test. In general, you must contact the DMV within a 10-day window from the date of the offense to request a hearing. The main purpose of a DMV hearing is to see whether or not your license will be suspended as a result of you being arrested. It’s an administrative license hearing and a crucial step when trying to reinstate your driving privileges before there’s a ruling in your criminal case.
The DMV will issue a temporary driving permit that will be valid for 60 days or until the day of the hearing. If you choose to do a blood test, the DMV will send you the blood results by mail, and at this point, if you choose to do so, you’re allowed to request a hearing.
Write Down Everything You Can
Remember that small and important details can help people win their DUI cases or lose them. This is why you should write down everything you remember about the DUI stop. Important aspects like when, where, who, what, field sobriety test information, can help you win your case. No matter how insignificant certain things seem to feel, take the time to write them down since your memory may fade over time.
You should record every single thing from the moment you’re pulled over to the time you leave jail, either by writing it down on a piece of paper or saving it as a voice memo on your mobile phone.
Identify Potential Witnesses
If you were arrested for DUI, chances are that you were with a friend or a family member. The second you’re released from jail, make sure to create a list of people you were with and places where you were before and after the DUI stop.
Witnesses may provide key information and even testify and strengthen your defense. Get their statements as quickly as possible as a drinking or non-drunk alibi witness can make a world of difference in your case.
Review Your Options
Lastly, you should sit down with your defense lawyer and see what options you have. Depending on the case, they will determine what’s the best course of action, whether they can negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor before your court appearance, or advise you to take the case to trial.
Either way, an experienced DUI lawyer will be able to craft the best defense by walking you through all of these steps and developing a strategy to lessen the impact of the charges.
DUI cases might take a long time to resolve and therefore it’s crucial to know what steps to take immediately after a DUI charge. Find a skilled lawyer with extensive courtroom experience, request a DMV hearing, note down everything you can remember, and find potential witnesses to help your case.
With these essential steps, you can pursue the best outcome available.