Every year, approximately 1.5 million Americans get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). If you get arrested for driving under the influence, don’t allow feelings of anxiety and worry to cloud your judgment. Instead, here are seven important steps to take after your DUI.
Write Everything Down
Immediately after your arrest, take a moment to write everything down. Make sure to take note of major details, including where and at what time you were pulled over, any tests the police asked you to do, anything that seemed unusual, and specifics regarding your conversation with the police.
Although the details may seem clear immediately after your arrest, they’ll fade over time. As a result, writing everything down now—even small details that might seem irrelevant—can help you build a case later.
Call A DUI Lawyer
If you plan to contest your charges or plead guilty, you’ll need the help of an experienced DUI lawyer. An experienced lawyer can help you make sense of your case and point you in the right direction moving forward. If you were in a drunk driving accident, your lawyer can also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to determine a settlement.
Although you’re not required to hire a DUI lawyer for your case, an experienced attorney can help you fight unnecessary charges. To find a lawyer in your area, conduct a location-specific Google search, like “Orange County car accident lawyer,” or ask friends and family for recommendations.
Set Your Profiles To Private
In the days following your arrest, the state will attempt to build a case against you. Adjust the privacy settings on your social media profiles to make each profile as private as possible.
Even if a picture or status on your Facebook profile has nothing to do with your DUI or character, you face the risk that opposing lawyers will try to take it out of context. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and deleting or deactivating your social media accounts until the trial is over might be your best option. If you have any concerns about your privacy, talk to your DUI attorney.
Show Up For Court
Your lawyer will set a court date for you, so take the time to prepare beforehand. Show up ready to represent your best self by arriving early, wearing professional attire, and looking well-groomed. Make sure to avoid wearing baggy pants and casual shoes or showing excessive skin.
Additionally, keep in mind that you don’t know what kind of judge will decide your case. Consequently, make a conscious effort not to offend anyone.
Accept the Consequences
In some cases, even the best DUI attorneys cannot keep their clients from facing punishment for a first offense. Depending on your state, you may face a fine of up to $500, 50 hours of community service, up to one year of probation, up to six months in prison, 180 days without a license, or mandatory driver’s education courses. Regardless of your punishment, it’s necessary to accept the consequences of your DUI and complete your sentence on time.
Adjust Your Car Insurance
After your DUI, most car insurance providers will raise your rates. Sometimes, insurance providers double the rates for policyholders facing a first-offense DUI charge.
When your trial is over, shop around for a new car insurance provider. After you get your license back, don’t skip purchasing liability insurance due to higher rates, as this will only worsen your legal situation.
Deliberate Your Options
In the weeks following your DUI, you’ll probably feel a mix of anxiety, stress, and anger. However, it’s important to remain focused on your case and make the right decisions moving forward.
To prevent future DUI offenses, consider seeking help. If you need stability and support while recovering from alcoholism, a sober living home can provide a safe and comfortable environment. The Bridge NYC, a sober living home in NYC, encourages recovery by providing a full assessment of each client’s goals, matching clients to a compassionate team of professionals, and holding clients accountable. If you’re interested in getting back on your feet after your DUI arrest, Google “sober living home NYC.”
Although getting arrested for a DUI can feel stressful and overwhelming, your next steps can determine the outcome of your case.