A DUI charge can feel devastating and leave you wondering where you should turn. If you wind up in this situation, you need to look into DUI lawyers in your area that might be able to help you. Additionally, you need to consider several other items that might make a difference between a slap on the wrist and potential jail time. Here are some things you need to do immediately after a DUI arrest.
Write Down Your Side of the Story
After you have been arrested for DUI, the arresting officer will file a report that tells one side of the story. It’s important to remember that the police officer doesn’t necessarily have your wellbeing in mind, and the police account can easily be slanted by all manner of different biases. As soon as possible, you should prepare a written account of your side of the story. This should include details as to how much alcohol, if any, you imbibed before driving, the officer’s attitude toward you, and any other information that you feel is relevant to the situation. This information can help your attorney determine the best strategy in terms of moving forward.
Seek Out an Experienced DUI Lawyer
Even if your case seems cut and dried, you should make sure to seek out a DUI lawyer who will advocate for you. Throughout the process, you should always remember that, with the exception of a defense attorney, nobody in the courtroom is obligated to show you any sort of leniency or kindness. Even a case where you do not deny your guilt, a DUI attorney can make sure that you receive a sentence that fits the severity of the circumstances in your crime. Being found guilty of DUI could mean as little as paying a fine, but it could also result in the loss of your license or even jail time. An attorney who can advocate you can save you from consequences you don’t really deserve.
Review the Evidence
Once you have a defense attorney in your corner, make sure to review all the evidence with them. This includes details of the traffic stop, the results of any field sobriety tests, and whether you were asked to take a breathalyzer test. If the officer acted belligerently toward you, make sure to note that. If there were other people in the vehicle with you at the time, your defense attorney might wish to speak to them. Take an extra hard look at the results of any sobriety tests and consider whether there might be any mitigating factors that may have caused you to perform worse than normal on them. Alcohol isn’t the only thing that can cause you to stumble, both literally and figuratively.
Don’t Admit Guilt
Even if you feel that you are guilty in this case, you shouldn’t admit guilt, either to the arresting officer or the judge. You might feel that doing so will earn you leniency, but that is rarely the case. In most DUI cases, it is better to remain silent on the subject of your possible guilt and let your lawyer speak for you. An attorney who is skilled and advocating for you will work hard to make sure you receive the leniency or declaration of innocence that you deserve. Openly admitting culpability in a DUI case sabotages all of that work and makes it more likely that you will receive a harsher penalty than you deserve.
A DUI is serious business, and you need to approach it properly if you want to keep it from derailing your life. If you remember to check the details, hire a skilled and reliable defense attorney, and keep your head during difficult times, you should find yourself in good shape moving forward. Keep the tips above in mind and work with your attorney to make sure you take care of yourself in the way you need.