Humans make mistakes, and sometimes that mistake could result in being charged with a DUI. If you recently found yourself wondering what to do after being charged with driving under the influence, you’ll want to ensure you are handling yourself appropriately. After all, the more you can comply with the law and build your case, the better chance you have of getting a reduced sentence. If you have been recently charged with a DUI and are wondering, “now what?”—these tips below will help you.
Consult with a lawyer.
Once you’ve been charged with a DUI, the very first thing you must do is consult with a lawyer. According to Hand Law firm, “A DUI charge is a serious offense that could result in a variety of sentences. Having the right lawyer by your side can help you better understand the process and work your case in a way that has your best interests in mind.”
Even if you have a very low budget to work with, there are lawyers in every state who can work with your financial situation and help you better understand the situation you’re in. Do some research to find those in your area who specialize in DUI cases. Most lawyers will do a free consultation so you can share your story and get some feedback.
Gather necessary information.
Once you’ve consulted with a lawyer, it’s important for you to gather all necessary information your lawyer asks you for. This could include anything from police reports to insurance card information to even witness statements from the day/night in question. Be sure to keep everything organized and make copies of it all so you can easily reference items when necessary. Plus, having a copy of everything ensures you don’t lose anything important when you hand it over to your lawyer.
Make smart choices.
The last thing you want to do when in an ongoing investigation or court case is to make choices that reflect poorly on you. For instance, you want to be sure you are making smart choices. This means if you decide to go out drinking, either designate a DD or use a ride-sharing service. If you are caught driving under the influence again, it could be a heftier fine or even serving jail time for the offense. If possible, you may want to refrain from drinking while the court case is taking place.
Keep your mouth shut.
With today’s technology, it’s easy to run your mouth and share your opinion, whether people want to hear it or not. When you’re involved in a DUI case, you want to keep your mouth shut, especially if your negligence resulted in injury to others or even wrongful death charges. You may want to shut down your social media profiles during this time so you don’t end up saying things that could reflect poorly on you. In addition, you should refrain from talking to anyone about the case without your lawyer present. This includes law enforcement and your own family members or loved ones. Remember that anything you say can be used against you in a court of law, and having your lawyer by your side will help you make better choices.
Prepare for the consequences.
Understand that your actions have consequences, and these consequences can vary based on your state, your criminal record, and if there was any damage or injury associated with the DUI charge. Your lawyer will be able to give you insight into what you can expect from your specific case, and you should start preparing for the consequences early. For instance, if there’s a possibility you could serve jail time, you’ll need to prepare for this by letting your employer know, letting your family know, etc. If you will have fines to pay or community service to complete, you’ll also want to prepare for handling this as best as you possibly can. This may mean trying to figure out your finances in order to cover the costs or rearranging your schedule to make room for community service hours.
Being charged with a DUI will change your life and should force you to make better decisions. But when you find yourself first charged with a DUI, you’ll feel confused, lost, and even scared. Use the information in this article to help you prepare for what you can expect going forward and what tips you should use along the way to make more sense of it all.