A DUI is a very serious offense, and it should always be treated as such. For many people, it’s often their first run-in with the law, and it can negatively affect their life in potentially disastrous and even irreversible ways. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, what you choose to to do right after can mean the difference between thousands of dollars of fines, hundreds of hours of community service, and even jail time. There are ways to minimize the repercussions and to speed up the process in order to resolve the issue and move on with your life as quickly as possible. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, here are the 5 things you need to do in the ensuing several days in order to help protect yourself and to help move the process further.
Document Your Experience with Law Enforcement
The absolute first thing you need to do is contact your lawyer. Having proper representation is an absolute must in order to ensure that your rights are properly upheld. Also, in order for an attorney to properly help you with your case, you need to be prepared to recount your entire night to them in detail. While everything is still fresh, it’s a good idea to write down everything that happened that night, including what happened prior to getting in your car, when, where, and why you were stopped, your interaction with the officer or officers, what tests were administered to you, what they explained to you, etc. This is incredibly important in order to keep track of mistreatment, as well as building the foundation for your case.
Ensure that Your Online Presence is Limited
If text or pictures from the day of the incident end up online, it could be detrimental to your case and your life in general. If your case goes to court, anything posted on social media can be used against you, and it’s possible that prosecutors can find incriminating evidence that can come back to haunt you in court. Also, you are oftentimes required to disclose any ongoing criminal investigations or convictions to an employer, but that doesn’t mean that they must see any ungratifying images or discussions about that day on social media. Keep your social media presence limited for that reason, as it can hurt your professional reputation as well as your standing in the community.
Discuss with Friends, Family & Potential Witnesses
If you were out with friends, family, or acquaintances the day of the incident, it’s a smart idea to speak to anyone who saw you in the hours prior to the altercation with law enforcement. Make sure to get ahold of their contact information, as well as their general statements on the night of the event, such as how much they saw you eat and drink, your actions and behavior, etc. This is crucial because a) You will not be the only ones speaking to them, and b) It will help you to get a better understanding for how your case looks from the outside, as well as potentially vet another witness or two.
Find a Qualified Attorney Willing to Fight for You
This is inarguably the most important thing you should do in order to resolve your case. Hiring a qualified, thoughtful attorney that is sympathetic to your case can be the difference between a quick resolution and a long, drawn out and painful process. Do your research, and spend time thinking about who you want to represent you in a court of law. As mentioned before, for many people, this is their first offense, and it can be stressful to navigate the legal process without an experienced attorney that is willing to fight for you.
This may sound difficult, but once you do everything you can to prepare your case, the best thing you can do is take some time to relax and gain some perspective. Life doesn’t stop because of a DUI arrest, and it’s important to remain in a normal routine as the process plays itself out. If you find an attorney you trust, then you should trust in them handle your case with care. If you’ve done everything you can to prepare, then you should take the time to decompress and get on with your life as best you can.
Learn more about how the Igwe Firm can help with your Criminal DUI case HERE.