Imagine this—you spend an evening drinking it up with some buddies at a pub. You've driven home drunk several times before without any problem, so you think nothing of getting behind the wheel. You drive along thinking you're doing just fine, but you suddenly see flashing lights behind you and hear a police siren. You've run out of chances… or have you?
Even though you know you shouldn't have been drinking and driving, don't give up and plead guilty at your arraignment. There may be something a criminal defense attorney can do for you, and you can help your case by being proactive while you wait for court dates. Here are a few important things to understand.
Understand there are two separate cases: civil and criminal
You will be dealing with two separate cases: civil and criminal. The civil case involves your driving privileges. The criminal case involves your DUI charges. Depending on the laws of the state where you were arrested, and if you have an in-state or out-of-state license, you may or may not lose your driver's license… at least not right away.
Civil: If your state revokes licenses upon notification from authorities of a DUI arrest, the state will typically send you a Notice of Revocation, which tells you that you have a specific time frame to request a hearing if you want one. Request the hearing. You want the hearing date moved as far into the future as possible. This will give you time to fight the criminal charges. If you are successful and get the charges dropped or reduced, your driver's license may not be revoked.
Criminal: The criminal charges are another matter and will typically be handled in the magistrate court. You will receive notice in the mail of the court hearing date for your criminal charges. Even though you were drinking and driving, a lawyer may be able to reduce the charges or have them dropped altogether, depending on the circumstances of your case and whether or not the arresting officers conducted their testing and procedures appropriately. Your driving and criminal history can also make a difference in the outcome of your case.
Be proactive with DUI classes and medical treatment
In most states, people who are arrested for drinking and driving are required to take classes. Be proactive in resolving your case by scheduling your classes before being told to do so by the court. This will show the court that you are willing to improve yourself and are interested in resolving the matter. Speak with a lawyer who can get you started in these classes as soon as possible.
Another thing you can do proactively, especially if you drink heavily and/or regularly, is to see your primary care physician for an alcohol screening and help with detox. This is particularly important if your blood alcohol content was high at the time of your arrest and you are facing aggravated DUI charges. By being proactive and getting help with detox, you will show the court that you want to change your drinking habits.
Hire a lawyer to try to protect your permanent records
Since a DUI conviction will be permanent on your driver's license and criminal records, it's important to hire a lawyer to defend your case even if you feel you are guilty of drinking and driving. The lawyer can look at the evidence to see if there are any reasons for a higher-than-actual breathalyzer reading, which can happen if the machine was out of calibration or the arresting officer used hand sanitizer prior to giving you the test.
Even if you are convicted, a lawyer may help reduce your sentencing and file to have your record expunged in the future after you meet all your requirements. Most lawyers offer free initial consultations, and you may find some who offer payment plans for those charged with DUI.
Hello and welcome, I'm Winfred Paulo. I have a passion for civil court cases of all kinds. Some time back, I ended up in the thick of a civil case after a lengthy dispute with my neighbor. The dispute went on for years and ended badly with an incident that landed us both in court. We had to prove our side of the case in an effort to obtain a positive outcome and recoup our losses. Unfortunately, I lost the case due to a lack of evidence. Since then, I've maintain a strong interest in civil cases and their proceedings. I will share information about civil cases on this site to help others understand these proceedings better. I may talk about legal terms, and expected outcomes for each case type. I hope you visit often to learn more. Thanks for stopping by my website.