Have you just received your first DUI? It can be a scary and confusing time, especially if you've never been in trouble with the law previously in any way. You are probably wondering if you will go to jail, if you will lose your driver's license, if your insurance rates will go up (or if your insurance company will drop you), and if you will have to pay a ton of money in fines, among other things. So, what should you do first to make sure things go as well for you in court as possible? Here are three things you should do immediately upon getting your first DUI to help bring about the most favorable outcome possible.
1. Call a DUI Attorney
According to OneDUI.com, this should be the first thing you do after getting the DUI, before you do anything else. There are probably plenty of DUI lawyers in your area. Get out your phone book or go online and find one that offers a free consultation. Sometimes, just talking to a lawyer will make you feel better, since you will get a good idea of your options and what you can expect in court from a first-time DUI.
If you feel the attorney is knowledgeable and experienced, and if your personalities seem to work well together, hire the attorney to represent you. You do not want to go into court without an attorney at your side, even for a first-time DUI. Your attorney will know of all kinds of defenses you don't, and may be able to get the charges and/or penalties reduced, or even dropped.
If the attorney doesn't seem like a good fit for you, keep calling others until you find one who is. This is crucial to the best outcome for your case.
2. Write Down All the Details of the DUI Incident
It is ideal to start committing the details of the DUI incident to memory as it is happening. If you aren't able to do this at the time of the DUI because you're distracted by everything that's going on, make an effort to remember as much as you can when you get home. Then, write down every detail of it, from what you were doing (and what you were drinking, and how much) before you got behind the wheel, to being pulled over, to what the police officer did when questioning and arresting you, to what happened at the jail, to being released to go home.
You will want as much detailed information as possible to present to your attorney. Your attorney, in turn, will use this information to craft your defense. Any verifiable details that are favorable to you will be presented to the court to prove your innocence, or to at least get the charges and penalties reduced, if possible.
3. Take Care of Yourself Emotionally
Getting a first DUI is stressful. It is important that you don't let yourself dwell on it too much. Know that your case is in the best possible hands with your attorney, and trust that they will do their best to give you the most favorable outcome possible.
While you're waiting for your case to wind its way through the court, take care of yourself emotionally. Do some stress relief activities, such as exercising and engaging in hobbies you enjoy. Spend time with friends. Seek the emotional support of family.
Go to counseling groups or individual counseling if you need to, either for alcoholism (if that's a problem) or just to help you deal with the stress of the situation. You'll be glad you did.
A first DUI can be much harder or much easier than you expect. Every situation is different. The important thing is to always have a good DUI attorney on your side, remember and share all of the details of the DUI incident with your attorney, and to be as relaxed about the whole thing as possible while you're waiting to hear the word from the court.
Chances are, once you've been through the experience of a first DUI, you will be careful to avoid another one. You can then put this incident behind you for good.
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