DUI stands for driving under the influence. In layperson’s terms, it simply means facing a charge for being caught driving while intoxicated, either with alcohol or an addictive substance. Such a case can be unfortunate, particularly since laws aren’t relaxed when it comes to this offense. After all, the purpose of such regulations is to, hopefully, discourage those who think they can drive while heavily intoxicated and cause unwanted accidents on the road.
However, it’s not the end of the world for you. Now that you’re facing DUI charges, you’ll expect a few court appearances, fines, and other sanctions. This entails a lot of preparation on your part, not to evade your charge, but to at least have the best result out of it, learn from it, and move on to a fresh start.
This article lays out how you can prepare for your DUI case to increase the chances of beating your charges.
Hire A Lawyer
First, you need someone who is an expert on the law to be on your side. Hence, the need to look for legal professionals from reputable firms like Summit Defense or others in your locality. They’re the ones who’ll represent you in court so that you can have a fair trial. If you’re guilty, your lawyer’s role isn’t to lie and overturn this guilt but rather to give you a day in court. Hopefully, this means you can bargain for a better outcome.
With that in mind, don’t skimp on this choice. Work with no less the best. You can start by choosing a lawyer with expertise specifically on DUI charges. Then, take note of the lawyer’s credentials and overall reputation, among other matters.
Record All Information About Your Case
Getting charged with any offense is always a stressful situation. Your emotions can get the best of you, and agitation and anxiety may affect your memory. This is why it’s a plus on your end to write down all information surrounding your charge. Your lawyer can build you a stronger defense when they have substantial information about your DUI arrest to work with.
To start, these are some of the most important details about the incident you’ll need to take note of:
The names of any witnesses to the incident that occurred when you were flagged down and positively identified as driving under the influence;
• The time of your DUI;
• What happened during the arrest, both from your end and from that of the arresting authority;
• Where your DUI arrest took place.
In every step of your DUI charge, always dress appropriately when facing the authorities and the judge. This gesture is a basic but powerful way to show the judge that you’re taking the case seriously. If you look as wasted and frumpy as you may have been upon your arrest, this lack of remorse can harm your case’s overall outlook. Your DUI lawyer will do most of the talking, but you also must prove and show that you’re willing to get your act together. Making the extra effort to look professional is a good place to start.
Decide Early On Your Plea
Once your lawyer has information on your case’s merits and facts, you’ll have to prepare for your plea. During the arraignment period, the judge will ask you what your plea is and how your plea affects what happens next for your case.
There are generally two types of pleas you can take:
• Plead ‘guilty,’ whereby your next step will be sentencing. Your lawyer will often recommend this as your plea if there is no way out of your DUI charge. You are guilty in all circumstances and requisites of your case, and there isn’t any valid defense that can be used on your end.
• The plea of guilty often comes with better bargaining for your fines in the end. Because of your willingness to cooperate in trial and to speed it up, the judge may sometimes be motivated to give you a smaller fine or penalty, especially if this is still your first charge.
• Plead ‘not guilty,’ whereby your next step would be presenting all the evidence against the DUI charge and challenging the prosecution. This can be long and arduous. However, your lawyer will recommend this, especially when there’s valid legal ground to plead not guilty, such as when your lawyer has identified a few irregularities in your arrest.
Do Community Service
One of the sanctions for DUI charges is to complete a certain time frame of community service. Most offenders will wait until final sentencing or the court hearing before they start doing community service. However, if you want to paint a more positive picture of yourself in court, it’s a prudent move to start completing your community service even before the trial.
Like dressing appropriately, this move from your end can show you’re serious about learning from your mistake. You’re level-headed, and you’re determined to make things right. Moreover, starting early gives you a good head start on the penalty, so you can be done with it sooner.
When the judge sees your determination to learn from your charge, you may have a better outcome for your arrest. This doesn’t mean they’ll let you go freely, but perhaps the fines and other sanctions may be minimized. That’s something you and your lawyer should aim for.
Research On The Alcohol Classes To Attend
Lastly, another part of your sanction may require completing a certain number of drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment sessions or classes. This is usually the case if you’re a repeat offender, as when you already have a record of alcoholism.
Taking those classes early is another way to show your preparedness when facing the judge. It sends the message that you’re clear about rehabilitating yourself by voluntarily attending those classes, even before the judge sends you an order to do so. You can start as soon as your lawyer is certain that the circumstances of your arrest warrant those classes as one of the sanctions.
Being arrested with a DUI charge is the price you have to pay for being in blatant disregard of the law. The mistake has been made, so now your task is to do something about it for the best possible outcome. Depending on the severity of your arrest and charge, you can lose your license, be charged with a hefty fine, and, worse, face jail time. This is the reason why you have to prepare well enough for your case. Take this seriously so that, hopefully, you’ll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and move beyond this experience. The tips above will help you.