Dealing with a DUI

by tylercook on March 13, 2013

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A DUI is not just a minor moving violation. Depending on the severity of the case, you may be facing either misdemeanor or felony charges. Driving under the influence is one of the most common misdemeanor crimes committed in the United States, and to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the road, courts are buckling down by imposing severe penalties and fines to defendants who are convicted. In fact, some courts throughout the nation will impose stricter penalties for offenders convicted of misdemeanor DUI that they will impose for other unrelated felony charges. Obviously, to protect your freedom and your record, it is very important to exercise your rights after a DUI arrest. Here are the steps you can take to protect yourself and clear your record.

Contact a Reputable DUI Defense Attorney As Soon As You Are Released From Custody

In most cases, after being arrested for a DUI you will be taken to the police station, booked, and then released from custody within 6 to 12 hours. In more serious cases, or in states that require immediate jail time, you may have to stay in custody until your bail hearing or your arraignment. As soon as you are released from custody for a first-time DUI, you will be given a Notice of Suspension slip to act a temporary license for 30 days. After this period your license will be suspended if you do not participate in your license suspension hearing with the DMV within 10 days of your arrest. This is why it is imperative to contact a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible to exercise your rights and fight the case.

How the Defense Attorney Will Help You

Hiring an independent defense attorney is in your best interest when fighting a DUI case. Unlike public defenders, reputation is very important to independent attorneys. This means that your attorney will do his or her best to help you with every step of the process so that you have the most favorable outcome. Here are some of the steps you and your defense attorney will take.

Come Up with a Defense Strategy

When you meet with your attorney, it is very important to be 100% honest about the factors that led to your arrest. Every detail is important and can help with your defense. Your attorney will order chemical test results, police reports, and attempt to have evidence stricken from the record when applicable. Based on the police reports and your statements, you may have a defense in which you can fight to have the case dismissed or the charges reduced.

Dealing with the DMV

You must schedule your administrative hearing with the DMV within 10 days of your arrest to fight license suspension. If you do not schedule this hearing, you will forfeit your right to a hearing and your license suspension with take place 30 days after your arrest. Many defendants fail to schedule this hearing. Your attorney will handle scheduling and will defend you in an effort to prevent license suspension. In some cases, your license will only be restricted unless you are convicted.

Dealing with the Criminal Case

Criminal proceedings take time. You or your attorney will attend several court hearings, including the arraignment, discovery, and trial. Your attorney will work to have charges reduced or dismissed before trial. If the prosecution is not offering a fair plea, you may want to take your case to trial if you have a strong defense. If you are convicted, your attorney may have your penalties, like fines, jail time, and community service, reduced.

Take action and deal with the charges when you are arrested for DUI. By hiring an attorney, you can make dealing with these serious charges much easier.




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