For nearly everyone, the embarrassment of being stopped and charged with a DUI (driving under the influence) offense is substantial. Not only could it affect your job, but it could also significantly damage your reputation. It can be especially devastating if you live in a small community, where everybody knows everyone’s business.
It could happen so innocently. Maybe you have just finished an evening of fun and relaxation with your friends. In your mind, the few drinks you had did not impair your judgment or cause you to drive any differently than usual. Apparently, the arresting officer felt differently, suggesting you had crossed the yellow line more than once. Suddenly, he is asking you to get out of the car and take a sobriety test. The next thing you know is that you’re being charged with DUI.
Back at the police station, all you can think about is getting this unfortunate episode behind you as quickly as possible. Maybe if you admit guilt and apologize, you can go home quickly and forget about this evening?
The actions you take immediately following a DUI charge could play a key role in the outcome of your case. What actions do experienced DUI attorneys recommend?
Don’t Talk to the Police. “Anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law.” There’s a reason police are required to say these words when arresting a suspect. Because it’s true. Politely inform the police that you won’t speak to them without your lawyer.
Ask for a DMV Hearing. When you get a DUI, your driver’s license is automatically suspended. You’ll need help getting to and from work and other places that you must travel. You can request a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hearing to get your license reinstated.
Be Patient. Don’t expect your case to be resolved rapidly. While a DUI arrest can occur quickly, your DUI case could take several months to settle. That will give you and your attorney more time to negotiating a fair deal with the prosecuting attorney.
Keep a Low Profile. The last thing you need at this point is another DUI charge. Stay away from people and situations that could lead to further trouble.
Hire an Experienced DUI Attorney. This is not the time to save money and hire your cousin, the local estate planning attorney. You need someone who knows the DUI laws, the local judges and the prosecuting attorney.