You’ve been charged with a DUI, and whether you’re guilty or not, such an accusation is certainly cause for concern. Once you’ve been arrested and the charge has been officially made, what should you do next? First, attend to the legal proceedings. Follow these four steps to help you leap this hurdle and get your life back in order.
Step 1: Keep Your Mouth Shut From the Beginning!
Blabbing about anything after your DUI arrest is a mistake. As your Miranda Rights clearly dictate, “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” Even if you think that what you’re saying will help you, remember that words can often be twisted or conveyed differently than intended, so from a legal standpoint, it’s best not to say anything at all until you have a lawyer.
Step 2: Get a Great DUI Lawyer
Fighting a DUI is no simple matter. You’ll probably want a lawyer to help you understand and dispute the charges. In order to successfully fight a DUI charge, you’ll need a thorough understanding of the medical implications of your DUI and your state law, both of which a good lawyer will have. It’s true that you do not need a lawyer to dispute the charge, but having one, or at least consulting with one before the court date, will give you the advantage in your case. To learn more about choosing the right DUI lawyer for you, see this article.
Step 3: Enter Your Not Guilty Plea
After consulting with a good lawyer, you’ll make your plea before a court date is set. You can choose to plead guilty from the beginning, which will most likely make it easier on you if your breathalyzer or chemical test failed spectacularly. However, if you did not take any kind of tests, or if the level of intoxication hovered on the line, you might consider pleading not guilty. A qualified lawyer can help you make this assessment based on his/her understanding of state laws and your specific situation.
Step 4: Follow Your DUI Lawyer’s Suggestions
In most states, your driver’s license will be immediately revoked until the case against you is closed. You’ll need to make arrangements for other forms of transportation during that time and discuss with your lawyer options for getting it back. A DUI can also cause problems with your existing or future employment. A good lawyer and a perfect record from that time forward can help to metaphorically erase those charges and get you back in good standing with your job.
A DUI can put a permanent spot on your record that will follow you for the rest of your life, but if you act quickly and intelligently, you may be able to nip the beginnings of a bad reputation in the bud.