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DUI stands for driving under the influence and is administered to drivers incapable of operating a vehicle correctly. Over one million people were arrested for these charges in the US in 2019 alone, showing how widespread they are.
Getting DUI charges can be a challenging experience, and you need to follow specific steps to make it through. The first is hiring a DUI lawyer, and below, we discuss other top considerations you should make.
1. Keep Records
It is advisable to keep records of everything that occurs from the beginning of the DUI charge. Put everything you can remember on paper from the moment your arrest begins. The sooner you start writing information down, the more likely you will remember.
Small things might seem insignificant initially but could play a key role later. Some essential details you should note include;
- Where you were pulled over
- Things that seemed unusual during your arrest
- The time you were pulled over
- Critical specifics regarding the administered tests
- Any other information you think might help.
2. Contact a DUI Lawyer
It is advisable to contact a DUI lawyer if you want to contest the DUI charges. This lawyer should be by your side even if you plan to plead guilty. The benefit of working with an experienced lawyer is they explain all available options regarding your case and offer the best solution.
3. Attend Court Sessions
To get a favorable judgment, you must attend all court dates your attorney informs you. Also, ensure you are punctual and avoid wearing baggy clothes, showing excess skin, or flip-flops.
Compose yourself correctly and have a family member escort you to the proceedings. Also, remember to stay polite always and avoid talking unless when responding. Do not act angry, and you should strive to ensure you create a good impression for yourself.
4. Go Private Online
The authorities will always try to look for information to build a case against you when fighting DUI charges. They will go through your social media platforms to find ammunition against you. These officers might decide to take things out of context even if something in your platform does not pertain to the day you were arrested.
Avoid discussing your charges or arrest before your trial is over, and consider deleting your socials or putting them in private.
5. Accept the Claims
Remember, it is still possible to get punished during your first DUI charge even if you have the best lawyer. Examples of fines you might receive include probation, fines, community service hours, and loss of license. Alan Pearse is well-versed with DUI representation, and you should consider contacting him.
6. Have Your License Reinstated
After fulfilling your penalties and paying all fines and fees, it is time to rebuild your life and reinstate your license. In most cases, licenses are lost for around 180 days, and you might be required to apply for hardship licenses if you drive to work.
DUI charges might increase your car insurance rates. Looking for a new insurance company after your trial has concluded is advisable, mainly if your current one denied you coverage.
The DUI Legal Procedure
First, it is essential to note that you might be charged with high blood-alcohol levels and DUI charges simultaneously in many states. However, one charge is dismissed after pleading guilty. Regardless, the primary step after DUI charges is an arraignment, where the defendant is charged formally.
Defendants are asked to plead guilty or not but can change the plea later; this means you do not need an attorney yet. Defendants can plead not guilty and have the option to request a trial.
Options When Dealing with DUI Charges
You should consider hiring a DUI lawyer after your arraignment or have the state appoint one if you cannot afford to hire. DUI laws vary in states, so you should ensure your lawyer specializes in your department.
You can decide how to approach the charges with your lawyer, and the top options include;
- Request for trial before a jury
- Plead guilty
- Request trial before a judge
- Plea bargain.
Plea bargaining or coming into an agreement between the prosecution and defense mainly entails agreeing to a conviction, and the defendant receives a less-harsher sentence in exchange for the plea.
Drunk driving is a severe offense, and its penalties reflect that. These penalties might include the following;
- Vehicle impoundment
- Community service
- License suspension
The penalties are harsher if the defendant’s blood-alcohol level is higher than the recommended limit or if someone was killed or injured. Refusal to take a blood or urine test might result in a license suspension in some states, regardless of whether they were found guilty of driving under the influence.
Role of DUI Lawyers
Due to their seriousness, it is advisable to have a DUI lawyer when battling these charges. A DUI lawyer will help you beat these charges, but their primary role is to guide you through the procedure to ensure your punishment is less severe.
Your duration at the police station depends on your age, criminal record, place of arrest, and your intoxication’s severity. Defendants are given a chance to contact a bondsman to clear the bill and get transport from the station when released on bond. In some instances, defendants are incarcerated immediately but should be ready to stay at the station for several hours.
Also, not that DUI charges will stay on your record for many years, if not forever. Potential employers will view these records before hiring you. This means you should be honest about your DUI charge to avoid unnecessary confrontations at work. Vehicle towing also occurs at your expense, and the authorities will inform you which company towed your car. Consider contacting the towing company as soon as you get released to clear the cost and return to your everyday life.
DUI charges are serious and can cause a jail time of up to one year. This time can be challenging, and you should consider having an experienced lawyer by your side. The above article has discussed how to make it through this process, and you can reach out for more.