If you’ve been charged with a DUI, whether it’s your first charge, your fifth charge, or somewhere in between, you need to hire an attorney. A DUI conviction can affect your freedom and livelihood. It could result in the loss, or at least temporary suspension, of your driver’s license. Which could lead to the loss of your job, ability to pay your rent or mortgage and other financial hardship. You’re going to need an attorney to help you fight for the best outcome. But in the meantime, there are a few things you can do to increase the chances of a positive outcome.
Write a report. Regardless of whether you were intoxicated or not, being charged with a DUI can feel chaotic and traumatic. It will be easy to forget exactly what happened – much easier than you might expect. As soon as possible, write your own report of what happened, what the officer said and did and what you said and did. This can help your attorney prepare a defense. Make sure, however, you keep this report to yourself and only give this to your attorney. This should be confidential between you and your attorney – other people may be able to misconstrue what you’ve written and use it against you.
Consider getting an alcohol evaluation. While you should not do this until you’ve received a referral from your attorney, start to think about whether you’d be willing to complete an alcohol evaluation. Being able to prove that this was an isolated incident could affect your case. You should wait until your attorney provides you with a referral because if this report comes back and is not in your favor, it could hurt you. This could happen by using an inexperienced evaluator or it could happen because you have an addiction to alcohol. Your attorney should be able to guide you on how to handle this. Start thinking about whether this might be helpful and once you’ve retained your attorney, ask them about this option.
Pull your driving record. When you talk with an attorney at a consultation it will be helpful to have your driving record and criminal history. The outcome of this DUI charge, particularly the potential sentence, may depend, in part, on your driving record – have you had DUI’s in the past? While this may not directly impact the outcome, it may help put your mind at ease. It can help your attorney give you a preliminary assessment of the situation and allow you to think clearly about your options moving forward.
The sooner you obtain an attorney, the better. You may be tempted to make statements or talk about your case with loved ones but the only person you should be discussing this with is an attorney – those conversations are bound by confidentiality and an experienced attorney can answer your questions and give you solid advice. Don’t put your freedom and livelihood at risk unnecessarily. Call us today for your free consultation.