“Help! I got a DUI, Now What?” The 7 Most Important Things to do After a DUI Arrest
What if you spent years in jail because you didn’t understand your rights?
This may sound like a legal nightmare. For those who have been charged with a DUI, those, this can easily become a reality.
If you’re saying to yourself “I got a DUI now what,” the first thing to do is not panic. And the next thing to do is read our comprehensive guide to the seven most important things to do after a DUI arrest!
1. Emotional Preparation
The first step on our list may sound like the easiest. However, in many ways, this is the hardest step of all: emotional preparation.
We’re not going to lie to you: being charged with a DUI is one of the most stressful events you will ever experience. You’re likely to face embarrassment, shame, and even depression before everything is over.
As bad as it is, it’s even worse if all of this comes as a surprise to you. Take the time now to prepare yourself for the various things that could happen. It may also help if you practice some rituals to calm yourself, such as meditation.
2. Do Your Homework
Now that you’re emotionally prepared, the next step is much more down to earth. It’s time for you to write down everything, especially while the incident is still fresh in your mind.
You’ll want to write down details like where and when you were stopped, the reason for stopping you that the officer gave and whether your breath was analyzed. Don’t forget to write down a description of the breathalyzer itself.
Write down the details of what you said to the officer, especially concerning anything that you had to eat or drink that day. Finally, write down any other tests they may have administered, such as a roadside sobriety test.
Every bit of detail will help when you get your day in court. And this information is invaluable to a DUI attorney.
3. Get Help
Remember when we talked about the negative emotional effects of being charged with a DUI? One feeling hovers over the entire experience: isolation.
It’s easy to feel like you’re all alone when you’re dealing with this problem. In addition to hiring professional help (more on this later), now is the time to find friends and family that you can trust as confidantes during this time.
They may be able to help with things like legal research. Mostly, though, you’ll want to have a network of support as a reminder that you are surrounded by people who love you. This will help give you the strength to go on when your case is dragging you down.
4. Get Off Social Media
There is an unfortunate truth when it comes to the legal world. In the eyes of a judge or jury, it’s not always what happened that matters: it’s how it looks. This is why it’s imperative that you delete all of your social media or, at the bare minimum, make your accounts private.
Any posts that you made on the day of the DUI arrest may be framed in a way that incriminates you. And even past photos and posts may be used to incriminate your character, painting you as someone who is often reckless and careless.
In short, you don’t want to give the prosecution any more info than they already have. By deleting your accounts or making them private as soon as possible, you minimize the change that your posting history will be used against you in a court of law.
5. Find Witnesses
Some people feel helpless when they are charged with a DUI. It’s important to fight that feeling and present the best case for yourself that you can. That’s why the next step is finding witnesses.
Basically, anyone that you saw you right before, during, or right after the DUI arrest is a potential witness. You need to contact them, verify what they saw, and then verify that they will be willing to testify in a court of law.
You’ll need to coordinate their accounts with your lawyer (more on this in a minute). But make no mistake: having witnesses versus having no witnesses can very easily be the difference between a positive and negative verdict.
6. Find the Best Lawyer
The next step is highly important. It’s time to find a DUI attorney that will represent you in your case and fight for an “innocent” verdict.
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to research possible DUI lawyers online and find the ones that are best for you. You can use these lawyers as a benchmark for many of the attorney qualities that you are looking for.
You’re going to be reviewing factors such as price, experience, reputation, and so on. But it’s also important to try to meet with any prospective lawyers and see if you feel a positive connection to them.
That may sound silly, but you are going to be working very closely and very intensely with this person. Establishing that you have a natural rapport right off the bat will make that experience much easier.
7. Stay in Constant Communication
Some people think that hiring a good DUI attorney is the end of the story. However, there’s still a lot for you to do. And the top of that list is to stay in constant communication with your lawyer.
The first step is to pass along any information, evidence, and witnesses to your lawyer, as these will be instrumental in the success or failure of your case. But the communication doesn’t stop there.
Check in with your attorney frequently to get updates on the case and to see if there is anything you can do. Even unexpected advice from the lawyer such as how to dress for your day in court may prove invaluable.
“I Got a DUI now what:” The Bottom Line
Now you’ve got a good answer to “I got a DUI now what?” However, do you know how to find the DUI lawyer who is best for you?