What To Do When Arrested On A DUI Charge

This is advisable as soon as you get out of jail. Talk to friends, family, trusted confidants experienced with attorneys, or attorney referrals. If you don’t know anyone personally, then you can take the search online. When searching online, it would be advisable to talk with several attorneys and talk as in-depth as you can with them because you don’t know them at all, you are just looking at what their website says about them, so I do think that’s good advice and you should do that as quickly as you can.

I wouldn’t put that in the most critical things to do as soon as you’re arrested, but it certainly can’t hurt, particularly witnesses that may have been with you if we’re talking about a DUI arrest, witnesses who were in your car or had been with you that night prior to your arrest. You also want to take note, although it will be in the documents that you receive from the court, of the officer who arrested you, his or her name; if you could, the person who ran the Breathalyzer test at the jail, his or her name.

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.

Most people wouldn’t probably need to be reminded of this. You are going to want to get your car as quickly as you can out of impound and hopefully, you wouldn’t face too much difficulty in doing so. Most of our clients have already gotten their car out of impound by the time we meet with them, unless they have called us from the jail or the second that they get out of jail.

Be Mindful of DMV Hearing and Aware of the Dates! Make Sure to Secure All Documents that Have Been Given to You by the Police Officer.

This is very important. You need to put in early to request time off, and you can, in most jurisdictions. Your first court appearance will be somewhere from 45 to 60 days after you are arrested, some of them as early as one week. Most important would be to get an attorney, because oftentimes, they can make the appropriate filings so you won’t have to appear in court as early as you otherwise might have to. They can continue the docket, or they could file a waiver of arraignment so that you would not have to be present in court as quickly as you otherwise might.

It’s very important to be as honest as you can with your attorney so that he or she knows what you have in your past as far as previous DUIs or any other previous criminal charges, or even a multitude of speeding tickets; anything that you’ve had in your past you need to disclose to your attorney. Be honest about how much you had to drink on that evening or if you were on medication or prescription pills or anything that happened that night; you need to tell them.

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.

Yes, refrain from going to Twitter or Facebook to talk about your case. It is not uncommon these days for the district attorney’s office or the prosecutor’s office to pull up different social media sites when doing a background check. Also, posting pictures in a DUI case of you drinking or partying or anything like that would not be advisable if you intend to testify on your own behalf. In general, in legal proceedings, I just can’t imagine social media being a good outlet for a criminal defendant, so I would advise against it.

You need to set parameters with your attorney as far as what “regular” means. You probably don’t have to necessarily call in once a week, and certainly not once a day or anything like that, but you need to keep them aware of things like changing jobs, moving, or the inability to appear at court due to travel for your job or illnesses or deaths in the family.

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 definitely don’t want to be doing any illegal drugs during the pendency of a case. A lot of times, you’re going to end up being tested for drugs or alcohol if you enter into a pretrial diversion program and, in some instances, even as the condition of your bond, the judge could order that you be tested for drugs and alcohol. So it’s not advisable to do illegal drugs and then even in the case of legal drugs such as alcohol, during the pendency of a DUI case, it’s probably advisable to refrain from that.

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.

Yes, that can certainly help individuals. I don’t think there is necessarily a legal basis for saying that but, certainly, support from a practical standpoint is very important, so whoever your trusted confidants are and people that can help you keep a positive and upbeat attitude are certainly people that you would want to surround yourself with or talk to about your situation. You can also talk to your attorney from that standpoint about how this is going to affect you in certain scenarios or potential outcomes.

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.

Talk to your attorney about this. In Alabama, if you’ve been arrested for DUI, the highest probability is that the Department of Public Safety is going to initiate an administrative suspension of your driver’s license 45 days after you were arrested. That suspension is going to last from 90 days to three years, depending on your prior DUI history. So, you need to make arrangements. If you are not going to hire an attorney and challenge the suspension, know that your license is going to be suspended for at least 90 days starting on the 46th day after you were arrested.

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.

You can either use the option of credit cards or take a loan from a bank depending on the interest rates which one of those options might be better. If you do have family support and someone you can turn to borrow money, it’s certainly an option. We tell clients to do any and all of those things, but the most important thing is to just be thinking about that immediately.

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.

It can help the case. You need to certainly bring any medical conditions that you suffer from to your attorney’s attention. He or she can then request the appropriate medical records and review them, potentially with an expert, to determine if they could have had any causal impact on your DUI.

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.

Yes, that’s a very important one as well. Sometimes, in jurisdictions maybe where they don’t have a standard deferred prosecution or alternative resolution program, we will recommend our clients to attend AA classes, attend some other type of counseling sessions that can go a long way in showing the prosecutor or the judge that you are very serious about the potential consequences of the DUI charge and were very proactive in getting out and doing some things that you thought could help with your DUI case.

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.

Most of the time a police officer or a detective is going to know that they can’t talk to you without your attorney being present. So, that we don’t face as much unless it happened during the arrest process but, yes, it’s not advisable to answer questions without the assistance or knowledge of your attorney. Some DUI cases that we have that involve automobile accidents, insurance adjusters do contact our clients because they don’t know that our client has an attorney, so it’s very important to tell them that you are represented by counsel and direct their phone call to your lawyer.

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.

Yes, it’s always better to expect the worst and hope for the best because if you go in and think that it’s going to be easy and it’s not going to tie up to your time for very long, then you are setting yourself up to be disappointed.

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 need an attorney, whether it’s your first one or not. If you’ve already had one DUI conviction in your past, hiring an attorney is almost essential, it has to be done. The consequences are so much more severe.

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.

There is some misinformation floating around that DUI charges just aren’t that big of a deal or they can handle themselves in court. I would never want to go to court without a lawyer for anything that might result in the loss of my liberty and really, a DUI case can result in the loss of your liberty in two ways; the judge could put you in jail, but also the license suspension to a large regard limits your liberty, your ability to move about freely. There are some very serious consequences that an experienced attorney can help you limit that damage on your life.

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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