What to do if You’re Arrested for a DUI

by Saamb on November 26, 2012

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(US criminal law) If you’ve ever been arrested for a DUI before than you know the experience can be frightening and confusing. One moment, you’re driving in your vehicle and having a great time, and the next, you’re in handcuffs in the backseat of a police car heading to the station. From there, you’ll be booked, placed in a cell and arraigned, all while you’re trying to figure out your next move. Once you’ve gotten through all of this, the real battle begins – defending yourself in court before a judge and a jury.What Should You Do?There are a number of things you should do after being charged with a DUI, but the first is to find out if you can have an administrative hearing before your criminal trial. In most states that offer this option, the request has to be made within 10 days of an arrest. The administrative hearing is separate from a criminal hearing, and it may determine whether or not you will lose your license to drive if convicted. If the request for such a hearing is not made within 10 days, our Orlando DUI lawyer tells us that you may lose your ability to drive for up to a year or maybe even more if convicted of the DUI charge.

Next Steps

Whether you’ve been able to secure an administrative hearing or not, you should always consider what to do regarding your criminal hearing. During your hearing, you’ll need to present your case before a judge and possibly a jury, meaning you’ll need legal facts to explain why you are innocent of the crime of driving under the influence. You do have the option to represent yourself during this hearing, but unless you’re trained in legal defense strategies, this may lead to more trouble. If you represent yourself in court and you aren’t able to counter the testimony provided by the prosecutor’s witnesses, you will almost certainly be convicted, and this can lead to the loss of your driving privileges, hefty fines and fees and possibly even jail time.

A Better Option

Instead, most experts believe that a better option for drivers who have been charged with a DUI is to partner with a DUI attorney. DUI attorneys offer their clients a wealth of knowledge and experience in defending against DUI charges, and they can often be the difference between a conviction and being found not guilty in court. A DUI attorney can also represent you in court, meaning even if you don’t understand the process, your lawyer can speak for you in order to make sure all of the facts surrounding your case are heard. This means that all evidence will be presented, even if the police or prosecutor try to suppress it.

Of course, the best way to avoid a DUI in the first place is to never drink and drive, but everyone makes mistakes from time to time. If you’d like to find out more information on how you can better protect yourself from a DUI conviction if you’ve been charged, or to find out how you can help a loved one who is currently facing a DUI charge in court, seek out the services of a DUI attorney today. Most can be found by doing a quick search online, while others may be found by looking in your local phonebook.

Saam Banai is a freelance writer and editor. He contributes this article for Katz & Phillips, P.A., one of the best firms to find an Orlando DUI lawyer who will work with you to mitigate your DUI woes.  If you’re accused of a DUI in Florida, you have various issues to address, and the laywers at Katz & Phillips will will go to work for you to prove your innocence and to keep you from going to court.

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