Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense. If convicted, not only will the incident stay on your record for life, but you could face jail time and a hefty fine. In addition, many employers take a dim view of a DUI conviction, especially if driving a company vehicle is one of your job responsibilities. If you are a truck driver, nurse or EMT, your employer may have no choice but to terminate your employment if you are convicted. How you react from your first encounter with the police on can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
Steps to take if charged with a DUI offense
1. Stay calm and be respectful to the officers. Getting arrested is extremely stressful. However, nothing will be gained by losing your cool and yelling or being belligerent to the arresting officers. Resisting your arrest will just compound the charges against you.
2. Do not volunteer information. Remember "anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law." This isn't just a phrase for television shows, it's a fact. In most cases, the less you say, the better it will be for you. This includes your social media pages. Avoid talking about your case online. It's also a good idea to mark your social media pages as private, which limits access for those not in your immediate circle.
3. Retain the services of a good attorney as soon as possible. A DUI is too serious of a charge to represent yourself in court. You need the services of an experienced DUI attorney, who has the knowledge and courthouse contacts to get you the best outcome possible. Just like you wouldn't think of rewiring your home without calling an electrician, you shouldn't think of acting as a lawyer in your own defense. The stakes are just too high.
4. Jot down all of the details of the arrest. As soon as you are able, sit down and write out all of the details of your arrest. What time was it? Where were you? Were you asked to take a breathalyzer test? What was the reason the officers gave for stopping you? Your case may not come to court for several weeks or even longer. Writing down the details can help you remember what happened and assist your attorney in defending you.
Getting arrested for DUI is undeniably stressful. Help improve the outcome by staying clam, hiring a good DUI lawyer and not talking about the case without your attorney being present. Talk to a criminal defense attorney to learn more.