Being charged with a DUI can have serious consequences for your future. Today, many states have cracked down on DUI charges by assigning heavy fines and other consequences that can apply even if this is your first time. You’ll also notice that the penalties increase if you are caught driving well above the legal limit or have multiple convictions for this crime. Since most states consider having a blood alcohol content level of 0.08% or higher to be intoxicated, it is easier than you might think to face these charges. The outcome of your case begins from the very moment that you get stopped, and you can take these steps to start handling the charges immediately.
1- Pay Attention to Your Behavior
Modern technology has made it easier for law enforcement officers to record people during traffic stops and while they are in confinement. Try to avoid doing or saying anything that could cause you to appear intoxicated. While you want to work with the law enforcement officer, you do have the right to avoid saying anything incriminating. Remaining quiet and compliant helps you to avoid appearing combative or doing anything that could negatively impact your case.
2- Seek Legal Counsel
If this is your first DUI, then you may have no idea where to begin with avoiding the harshest consequences. Those who are facing a second DUI or more are at greater risk of losing their license. In both cases, reaching out to a lawyer can help you begin building a defense that could potentially help you avoid the worst penalties. Your lawyer can ask you questions about what happened before and during the traffic stop that could help you during your court date.
3- Prepare for Your Court Date
Failing to show up for court is a mistake that you don’t want to make since this tends to increase the penalties. Eventually, the law catches up with the average person, and you’ll feel better facing this situation head-on and with the help of your legal counsel. If your license has been temporarily suspended, then make arrangements for transportation to the court date ahead of time. Then, dress nicely and prepare to treat each person you meet in court with respect.
4- Comply With All Legal Orders
In the majority of cases, the court simply wants to make sure that a DUI doesn’t happen again. You might be ordered to seek a drug and alcohol addiction assessment or to attend treatment. In more severe situations, you may be required to pay a fine, spend time in jail or serve a probationary period. While handling your case correctly can help you avoid some of the heavier penalties, there is likely to be some form of consequence that gets handed down for a DUI. Make sure to comply with all of the court orders so that you don’t face bigger charges down the road.
Facing a DUI is stressful, and you might be worried about what a conviction can do to your professional and personal reputation. Losing your license or going to jail can impact your ability to get to work, take care of your family and enjoy having personal freedom. If you get a DUI, make sure to take action immediately. Being responsible for your behavior and prioritizing your case make it easier to move forward from this difficult time.