Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious criminal offense that can lead to time in jail, fines and a suspended license. Anyone who has been arrested for DUI will need to take action in order to defend against the charges. There are five things to do after being charged with DUI.
Remain Mostly Silent
The first step should be to remain mostly silent during the entire process. Providing explanations of the event or extraneous details could cause problems during trial. Basic questions such as name and age should be answered concisely. It is advisable not to admit guilt or intoxication by politely declining to answer until a lawyer is present.
Write a Statement of Events
Anyone who has been charged with a DUI should write a personal statement detailing the facts of the event as soon as possible after being released from custody. The statement should clearly list everything that happened leading to the DUI charge in chronological order. Even negative details should be included since omitting them can cause issues if prosecutors discover contrary information. The completed statement should not be shown to anyone but an attorney.
Contact an Attorney
The most critical thing to do is to contact an attorney. It is important to choose a criminal defense attorney who can handle a DUI case near Oceanside so that there are no delays. The attorney should be given the written personal statement once the case is accepted. Several meetings might be necessary to discuss events, clarify legal points and decide on a course of action as the case moves forward.
Schedule a Department Of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Hearing
The next step should be to schedule a DMV hearing once an attorney has been secured. The DMV hearing must be requested within 10 days after the initial arrest. The hearing allows an attorney to argue that a driver’s license should not be revoked or suspended. A successful hearing will allow defendants to continue driving sometimes under limited conditions.
Prepare For Arraignment
The final step is to prepare for arraignment. This means assembling formal clothes for court, meeting with the attorney and reviewing the facts of the case. It also means deciding how to plead. Most defendants plead not guilty unless the attorney has made a plea agreement with the prosecutors. An arraignment could lead to a longer trial.
It is important to remain informed and engaged at every stage after the DUI arrest. Paying attention to small details, providing clear information to the defense attorney and actively taking part in the defense will create a stronger case. Staying engaged will improve the odds of success during arraignment or trial.