In the immediate wake of a DUI arrest, there are a lot of complicated emotions. You are likely feeling confused, scared, and more than a little bit ashamed. Those are all understandable reactions. But they can all cause you to embrace irrational ideas. Instead of making hasty decisions, learn what to do after a DUI arrest so that your rights and freedoms are protected:
Do Not Offer Extra Information
The police will be eager to get as much information as possible from you about your actions before the arrest. But in most cases, providing this information is not what to do after a DUI arrest. You are not required to incriminate yourself, and you only have to supply the police with information related to the traffic stop. If they ask questions about where you have been or how much alcohol you have consumed, decline to answer. This is your right under the law.
Remember that You Have Rights
Speaking of rights, never lose sight of the fact that you have protections under the law no matter what the circumstances of the DUI involved. One of the most important things on the list of what to do after a DUI arrest is to not think of yourself as automatically guilty. All defendants have rights in court, and nothing can strip you of those rights. If you are unsure of exactly what those right include, speak to a legal expert.
Create a Record of Events
As soon as you can after your arrest, write down anything and everything you remember about the event. Include the time before, during, and after the arrest, and leave out no detail. This information will be important when you get to court, because the police and prosecutor will be presenting their own version of events. This is what to do after a DUI arrest if you want to ensure that the full truth comes out in front of the judge.
Clean Up Your Social Media
As you are planning what to do after a DUI arrest, don’t fall prey to a shortsighted focus. Evidence from the arrest itself can be used against you, but so can other evidence. That includes pictures and information that may be publicly available through your social media profiles. Set these profiles to private so that the prosecutor can’t use misleading information to damage your reputation in court.
Seek Out Witnesses
When you go to court, you will want to have as many people as possible on your side to corroborate your version of events. If there were any witnesses present before, during, or after your arrest, get in touch with them. This could include people in the car with you, people you interacted with soon before getting behind the wheel, or strangers who saw the arrest happen. Contact them as soon as possible so that the passage of time does not distort their memory of events and they can help you with what to do after a DUI arrest.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
A big part of what to do after a DUI arrest is to avoid the kind of negative emotions that can compromise your defense. You may be eager to blame yourself and impulsively decide to plead guilty. You may be consumed with guilt and find it hard to sleep, work, or focus on anything except the night of the arrest. These feelings are hard to avoid, but they are also totally unproductive. Stop blaming yourself, and get busy pursuing a resolution.
Be Prepared for Consequences After the DUI Arrest
There are ways to fight a DUI charge no matter what the circumstance of the arrest involved. But there is no guarantee that you will be found innocent. And in many cases, the best legal strategy is to argue for a lesser sentence rather than no punishment at all. As part of what to do after a DUI arrest, prepare yourself to potentially make changes in your life. You may have to attend alcohol treatment courses, accept limits on your freedom, or deal with judgment from friends and family. Knowing what is in store can make these consequences easier to deal with.
Hire the Right Lawyer
The questions of what to do after a DUI arrest can have a different answer for each person. But one step that is universal is hiring the right DUI lawyer. Quality legal counsel can provide you with the advice and assistance you need during what can be a very confusing and stressful time. Plus, a DUI lawyer will know the best ways to present a DUI defense in court. That way you can pursue a not-guilty verdict, or at least try to get your sentence reduced.
Knowing what to do after a DUI arrest is important, because the steps you take can affect the outcomes both positively and negatively. When you need answers and are looking for help, rely on The Law Office of Gary M. Wilson. For a free consultation about what to do after a DUI arrest, call 313-246-8885.