Facing a DUI charge can be stressful due to the heavy penalties handed down by the courts. Although it is normal for a person to be concerned about the consequences a DUI conviction could have for their personal and professional reputation, it is important to know that there is hope for minimizing the penalties. Here are the first steps to take immediately after being charged with a DUI.
In the majority of states, there are consequences for refusing to participate in blood alcohol testing; however, there are several other ways to avoid self-incrimination. During the investigation, it is important to understand that a person has the right to seek legal counsel before responding to any questions. If questions are asked at the scene or police department, respectfully decline to answer until legal representation has been provided.
Understand the Charges
It is also important to understand the details regarding the DUI charge. Knowing exactly what a person’s BAC level was and other factors concerning the arrest can help to determine the severity of the penalties that can be issued by the court. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association , 42 states have laws that allow for license suspension for first-time offenses. Those with multiple DUI convictions can expect longer sentences and the installation of an ignition interlock device on their vehicle once their license is reinstated.
Seek Legal Counsel
Trying to fight DUI charges alone is never recommended due to the severity of the penalties. For this reason, it is essential to find a lawyer as soon as the charges are filed. An experienced lawyer will examine the facts of the case to determine if any mistakes were made by the arresting officers or the prosecution. Then, they can provide legal advice regarding how to enter a plea and navigate through the court proceedings.
DUI charges carry some of the heaviest penalties, and even first-time offenders can find themselves facing the loss of their license or jail time. While it is not possible to turn back time and avoid getting behind the wheel, it is possible to avoid self-incrimination and handle the charges-and work towards the best possible outcome-with the help of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.