DUI cases are unfortunate for everyone involved. The police don’t like to see drunken drivers on the roads. The person driving is making a horrible decision. Others on the road are being put in danger. Ultimately, everyone does make mistakes, but this is a horrible one to make. If you get arrested for drunken driving, use it as fuel to make better decisions and be grateful that nobody got hurt. There are five major steps when handling a DUI case.
Carefully read the charges being brought against you
This is the first step in any legal case. It is crucial to knowing what you are being charged for and the regulations of the law. This is important for navigating your DUI case because being fluent in the area you are being charged in will make the process go by more smoothly. This also shows that you are well-versed in taking responsibility for your actions and doing what you can to comply with the DUI legal process.
Hire a lawyer if you haven’t already
This is the second step that is important in DUI cases especially. You need a lawyer to work on bringing your charges down to a reasonable cost and to hopefully bring the DUI charge down to a lesser charge, which is often incredibly difficult to do. Having a good lawyer is essential to handling a DUI case. Representing yourself is an option, but often impossible to getting the best outcome in DUI cases.
Ask how you plea the charges
Your attorney will figure out if it is best for you to plead guilty or not guilty. This determines a lot going forward. If you plead not guilty, you will have to be scheduled to a preliminary hearing for your case. Then, the judges will decide whether there is enough evidence to hold a trial.
If you plead guilty, then things move fairly quickly and you will be sentenced to a punishment that will be decided by the judge. Usually you will have to take an alcohol class or do community service as well as pay the ticket and court fees. If the case was bad enough or this is not your first DUI, then you may have your license revoked, etc.
Make Alterations to Your Bail
If you have to go to jail for the DUI you were charged with, then this is something you also will have to figure out with your lawyer. Sometimes bail can be ridiculously expensive and not feasible at the time. There are ways to have your bail reduced with the help of your attorney.
Attend future court dates if you plead not guilty
As previously mentioned, if you plead not guilty, you have some more steps to take in a DUI case. This might constitute a hearing that could have multiple court dates and drag on. This could be worth it, though depending on the situation. Your attorney will probably consult with you and make the best possible decision about moving forward with your DUI case. Often, if you are in good standing and the case wasn’t severe, you can reduce the charges and even the ticket itself. Pleading not guilty is time-consuming because of having to work closely with the courts and a lawyer for months, but this is a good time to reflect on the DUI and why it isn’t worth it to drive drunk.
If you are charged with a DUI, get on the phone with a lawyer as soon as possible. They will show you the ropes and help you navigate the legalities.