What DUI legal advice do you need to hear now?
If you’ve been pulled over for driving under the influence, the first thing you’re going need is some DUI legal advice. You are likely a little scared, wondering what your options are, and trying to figure out what exactly you should do next. Here are a few tips from a professional DUI attorney:
Step 1: Decide Whether to Submit to Tests Or Not.
If you refuse testing, you may have better odds of having your case dismissed. However, you need to understand the other ramifications that go along with refusal. Many states have a mandatory license suspension period in refusal cases. This means that even if your case is dismissed, your license could still be suspended for an extended period of time. In Georgia, the suspension time frame is one year.
Step 2: Already Been Charged? Read On.
Pay attention to the details. Write them down if you have to. What happened before, during, and after your arrest can greatly impact your case. Did the officer remember to read you the mandatory implied consent notice, notifying you of your right to refuse the test and its consequences? Were there mitigating circumstances possibly at play, such as low blood sugar? Document the entire event, to the best of your ability. This will help you, and any attorneys you may hire to represent you.
Step 3: Get the Specifics of Your Charges.
DUI, DWI, and their variants are all slightly different charges with different parameters for sentencing. Understand which one you are facing, and what the applicable rules and regulations are in your state. Generally, if found guilty, you face one or all of the following:
- Fines, including things like driver responsibility taxes
- License suspension
- License revoked
- Mandatory drunk driving education
- Add points to your license or record
- Community service and/or jail time
- Parole or probation
- Additional statutory fees
Step 4: Determine Whether Anyone Was Injured, or at Risk of Injury.
This goes along with gathering the details. It’s important to understand who was at risk, and what the potential for damage was in your situation. It may determine whether you only get charged with the DUI, or if additional charges could be tacked on. In lieu of charges, you could also face litigation from private parties. Understanding your exposure will go a long way in determining what you should do next, and how you respond to questions and other inquiries.
Step 5: Consult a Lawyer.
No matter how insignificant you think the incident might be, consult a lawyer. Ideally, you should consult a lawyer regarding your case as soon as possible after being arrested. All of the information you have at your fingertips will greatly help in crafting a case strategy. And whether your goal is dismissal, or reduced charges, your lawyer can look at the information and help you set your expectations regarding what is to come.
Click to get more DUI legal advice by contacting our team at Wilbanks Law Firm, P.C.