What To Do When Arrested On A DUI Charge
Those things would be very valuable to turn over to your attorney and, particularly, if it’s witnesses that may have been with you earlier in the evening, you definitely want to make note of those people because as time goes by, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that you could forget who all had been with you that night.
One of the worst things that can happen to attorneys is to be surprised in court when there is evidence, direct evidence, to contradict what their client has told them. Attorneys can deal with the good and the bad but they have to know about it, they can’t deal with complete surprise in a split second. If they know about all the bad things, they can prepare for them and try to work around them but not if they are caught off guard by learning about them in the courtroom.
Most of the time, you can keep in touch with your attorney’s staff or, maybe, through email, just shoot them an email to let them know about important events that might affect your case because, again, they can’t deal with problems that they don’t know about. So, it’s certainly a good idea to keep in regular contact.
You don’t want to be drinking and driving and even if it’s something that you feel like you’re not impaired or had two glasses of wine at dinner or any of those things, especially while a DUI case is pending. I would not drive after having even a sip of alcohol.
Attorneys have handled hundreds and hundreds of cases and so they can talk you off the ledge, so to speak. They have dealt with hundreds of people in a very similar circumstance that you find yourself in and those people have all, in one way, shape or form made it through the fire and continue on with their life and had success, so an attorney might be a good outlet to talk to as well.
You need to make arrangements to get to and from work as well as any other type of travel that you need to do, because you are not going to have your driver’s license and Alabama has no hardship driver’s license. There is no way to get a license just to drive to and from work. Your license is either suspended or not suspended.
Every aspect of a DUI case needs attorney involvement but the license suspension is probably the most confusing and complicated part. More so than any other part of the case, you need to talk to an attorney about the best way to reduce or eliminate the suspension from filing for judicial review and having the suspension time reduced to pursuing the possibility of using an interlock device in your car to reduce or eliminate the suspension.
If you don’t have the money in your savings account or checking account to hire a lawyer, then as soon as you are released from jail, you need to be going through the options in your head of how you are going to come up with the money to hire a lawyer. It’s just such a complex area of the law that, unless you are just going to fall on the sword and plead guilty, you’re not going to maximize the potential benefits without a lawyer.
We have a plethora of experts that we have hired on various cases. They can talk about toxicology issues and whether certain medications could affect things or whether certain conditions can affect someone’s ability to, for example, perform well on a field sobriety test. So, any medical condition, whether you think it’s relevant or not, should be shared with your attorney.
In certain instances, people may have realized that they have a substance abuse problem when they have been arrested for DUI and so, in that case, from the legal standpoint, it may be something that they really need anyway. So, if your attorney is recommending that you take classes or attend the information sessions or anything of that nature, then you need to follow his or her advice.
We do have the occurrences where our clients tell us after the fact that they have made a statement for an insurance adjuster with regard to an accident and there is nothing that we can do to help them after they have done that. That statement is recorded and it could be used against them later on, so you need to talk to your attorney about anything related to the DUI charge or any accidents that resulted from the DUI charge. Anything within the realm of possibility that could be related, you need to run it through your attorney.
Some cases are resolved more easily than others and move more quickly than others, but by and large, the DUI process is a long one. You might as well settle in for the fact that this is going to affect your life in some way for the next year to year and a half from the time that you are arrested and in some instances, longer than that. So, I would always expect a tough battle on a DUI case and then, maybe, you will be pleasantly surprised it does not.
You are facing a year-long driver’s license suspension and a minimum five days in jail, unless your attorney could negotiate a community service deal instead or, most importantly, the attorney can find something wrong with the case or help you prove your innocence regardless. On a second time or a third time DUI, consequences are so great that I can’t imagine not hiring an attorney if at all feasible from a financial standpoint.
Not only from the standpoint of staying out of jail and trying to keep it off your record, but also from reducing the amount of time that you have a suspended license and some people take that attitude that that’s not that big of a deal.
If you get pulled over with a suspended license, it’s an automatic additional six months’ suspension and an automatic $500 fine plus court costs. So, driving around with a suspended license more than anything else in a DUI case has the potential to suck you into this never ending cycle of paying court costs and fees and fines and never getting fully out of your DUI case. So, you need to take it very seriously.
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