Have you recently experienced your first DUI?
Driving under the influence is the criminal offense of driving while intoxicated by liquor or drugs, leading to unsafe driving. As a first-time offender, getting a DUI can make you feel anxious and overwhelmed. Who wouldn’t when you can get your license suspended, pay an expensive fine, or serve time in prison?
However, if you have an excellent legal representative, you shouldn’t worry. Based on reports, the NHTSA records about 1.5 million people involved in a DUI, and 10% of them get dismissed. To get your case cleared, you need an experienced attorney.
Read on to learn the necessary steps to take on your DUI charge.
1. Follow the Law
When you get stopped for a DUI, most police officers administer a chemical test. It determines your blood alcohol concentration using your breath, blood, or urine samples. As they assume that you’re under the influence, they use the test to prove it.
Doing so determines the level of alcohol in your blood at the time of the arrest. Thus, if the officer asks you to take a test, you must follow.
DUI chemical testing is an implied consent law in all states. This means that any person driving on public highway consents and must submit to the test. Although some states allow refusal to take the DUI test, you may give yourself a harder time.
With this, it’s best to comply because if you don’t, they assume it as an admission of guilt.
2. Remain Silent
Although DUI laws can differ in every state, the right to remain silent applies to all. By remaining silent, you prevent yourself from making self-incriminating statements.
Take this advice and never say anything they can use against you. When you pull over as demanded, the officer often questions you right away. Exercise your right to remain silent and ask for an attorney.
Don’t admit that you’re under the influence of alcohol or any drug to anyone. You must consult with an experienced attorney before sharing information. Instead, secure the release of your vehicle as soon as you get released from custody.
Bear in mind that officers can impound your car. They’ll keep the vehicle in a tow yard until you can claim it. With this, you must get it fast to prevent paying expensive fees.
3. Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney
Some people think a DUI is a light offense where they can defend themselves. However, it’s not the case, as it can result in several grave punishments. Even if it’s your first time getting a DUI, you can lose driving privileges, get a prison sentence, or receive more penalties.
The gravity of the punishment depends on the conditions of the offense. So, when faced with a DUI charge, you need an experienced attorney to represent you in court. They can explain the procedure and provide potential defense outlines and other information.
Although any lawyer can represent you in court, it’s best to avoid hiring a general attorney. You need a legal representative who knows and understands the DUI laws in your state. With a DUI attorney, there’s a higher chance of getting a favorable outcome.
Seek proper consultation within a period that allows your lawyer to defend you. To find a lawyer right away, you can search for the best DUI attorneys near me on the web.
4. Request a Hearing With DMV
Do you want to prevent your license from being revoked? If you request a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles, you can keep your driving privileges. So, discuss it with your lawyer while working on your case.
People with DUI charges can request a hearing with the DMV within ten days of the arrest. Its purpose is to determine the actions to take against your license. Further, it can postpone license suspension until they get the results.
If you fail to file for a hearing within ten days, you lose the right to do so, and your license gets revoked right away.
5. Get a Copy of the Police Reports
Although there’s little chance of case dismissal, some conditions can make it happen. When the police officer commits procedure misconduct, you can get free of your DUI charge. With this, your lawyer must request the police report.
Some details on reports, such as physical descriptions, can show inaccuracy. If the prosecution finds issues with the claims against you, they can drop the case. Thus, ensure to review the submitted police report.
6. Prepare for Your DUI Case
On average, DUI trials last up to 3 to 5 days. Despite the short time frame to defend your case, you must take time to prepare for it. Getting ready ensures a smooth trial.
First, determine if you will plead guilty or innocent. Next, prepare for the arraignment with your attorney, entering a plea. If you plead guilty, you only need to bring essential documents.
However, you need to prepare more if you plan to plead innocent. You and your attorney must discuss the event, collect evidence, and plan on how to get out of a DUI charge.
Although you cannot make appearances as you have your lawyer, it’s best to report on court dates. Further, there are situations where they need your presence. If you fail to appear on required court dates without a valid reason, you face more penalties.
7. Learn About SR-22 Insurance
Your insurance company can end your contract or refuse renewal after a DUI charge. With this, you need to find a replacement policy. However, is it necessary to have auto insurance?
If you face license suspension, your local DMV can ask you to get an SR-22 document. It verifies that you have the required vehicle insurance coverage. To reinstate your license, you need to present an SR-22 document.
In some cases, your state can ask you to carry the certificate for a few years. With this, you can ask your new insurance company for the form. However, you must pay a certain amount of money.
When your policy lapses, the insurer notifies the state. If this happens, you must pay another reinstatement fee.
Getting a DUI Charge: What Do I Do?
Here are the necessary steps to take after getting a DUI charge. A DUI is an offense you must not ignore unless you want to suffer several penalties. To prevent severe punishment, seek help from an experienced DUI attorney.
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