Did you recently receive a DUI or DWI and not sure what to do? Read this first!
What to Do if You Get a DUI or DWI
If you have been placed under arrest for driving under the influence (DUI), it’s important not to panic. Although this can be a very confusing and frustrating period for first-time offenders, navigating through a DUI charge takes a methodical and concentrated approach.
You could be wondering what steps you should take after your DUI, will you automatically lose your license, or even if you could go to jail. However, taking the correct steps after your DUI is essential for your protection and outcome of your upcoming trial.
If you’re interested in learning more about how about how to take the appropriate procedures in the aftermath of a DUI charge, continue reading for more information.
Take a Chemical Test
Taking a chemical test is required by most states and is punishable by law by those who refuse it. If a police officer pulled you over under the impression that you were driving under the influence, this officer likely asked you to perform a field sobriety test to gauge your blood alcohol level.
Of course, you have the right to agree to take the test, but it’s important that you comply because there is too much to lose if you don’t. Whether you pass or fail, you can uncomplicate your DUI case when it goes to court.
Contact a DUI Attorney
One of the most important things to remember in the midst of your DUI charge is that every attorney is different. Particularly, you can’t hire any ordinary attorney to represent you in court, even if they have some experience taking on DUI cases.
To increase your chances of a non-guilty verdict, hire a DUI attorney. These lawyers specialize in DUI law, which is complex and requires a large amount of experience. Only an experienced DUI lawyer will give you the highest chance of achieving a favorable outcome in court.
Find a Bail Bondsman
If you’ve been arrested, you’re going to have to post bail. Although some people may be released from prison without posting bail, most cases require the services of a bondsman. A bondsman will typically require an upfront fee. Once you pay the fee, they will post your bail.
Granted, posting bail can be expensive, it can be more affordable than paying your entire bail amount. A bail bondsman will post your bail under the condition that you will be present at all of your court hearings. Be mindful that if you miss one hearing, the bondsman will come looking for you.
Request a DMV Hearing
After your arrest, you only have a limited number of days (typically 10 days), which include holidays and weekends, in order to request a DMV hearing. Requesting this hearing will determine if you are able to keep your driver’s license or not. If you or your attorney does not request this hearing during the allotted time, your license will automatically be suspended.
If you have been wrongfully accused of a DUI, then this is your chance to keep your license and prevent any future inconveniences.
Prepare for Arraignment
In the court of law, arraignment is the process in which you enter your plea for the court’s record. Do not plead guilty. It’s possible to fight your DUI charges if you have an experienced attorney on your side.
A not-guilty plea will give you a jury trial and allow you to prove your innocence in court by showing that you weren’t driving drunk. You can also enter your trial to challenge the merits of your case another way.
Carry out Your Punishment
If you’re found guilty, the judge presiding over your case will give you a punishment depending on the severity of your charges. Your punishment could include fines, jail time, classes, and probation. However, fulfilling your punishment as outlined by the court is the best way to place your charges behind you and one day get your license back.
If you get convicted of a DUI, it’s very possible that your insurance provider will terminate your policy. If this is the case, you’ll have to file an SR-22 form, which serves as proof that you have the adequate amount of insurance that’s mandated by the state you live in.
Get Your License Back
If you’ve lost your license due to a DUI conviction, you’ll obviously need to get your license back to resume your normal life’s activities. After completing your suspension, you should be able to receive a restricted or temporary license that will allow you to navigate back and forth between alcohol or defensive driving classes.
To get your license back, you’ll have to complete any program the court assigns you to, pay any necessary fee your state charges to reissue your license, and you should be on your way to driving legally again.
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