What to Do if You Get a DUI
Being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be an extremely scary experience. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous and irresponsible. Your poor decision to drive after drinking or using drugs could be detrimental to your life and the lives other others. If you get a DUI, there are several things that you need to know to make the process as simple as possible.
How To Proceed
If you are pulled over by a police officer under suspicion of driving under the influence, it is imperative that you cooperate with him or her at all times. Even if you are severely intoxicated, you should do your best to comply with the officer’s requests. Do not argue with a police officer under any circumstance.
If you are charged with a DUI, the police officer will transport you to the police station in a patrol car. Your vehicle will probably be towed at your expense. You will be notified as to which company has towed your vehicle and will be given contact information to retrieve it. Contact the towing company that impounded your vehicle as soon as possible and arrange for it to be picked up and the towing costs to be paid.
After you arrive at the police station, you can expect to wait for up to several hours before being processed. If this is your first offense, the process will take longer. You fingerprints and mug shot will be taken by an intake officer. An investigator or other police office may ask you questions about the circumstances of your driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You will be given the opportunity to contact your attorney if you feel you are being wrongly accused.
The length of time you remain at the police station depends on the location of your DUI, your age, your criminal record, the severity of your intoxication, and other factors. If you are to be released on bond, you will be given the opportunity to contact a bondsman, friend, or relative to arrange for the amount to be paid and for your transport from the police station. In some cases, you will be incarcerated immediately. Nevertheless, be prepared to remain at the police station for a minimum of several hours before the logistics of your DUI charge are settled.
If charged with a DUI, you will likely have to appear in court to receive your sentencing. You will have the option of using your own attorney or being appointed one by the court. Remain calm and respectful during the court proceedings. Answer any questions truthfully.
Many people who are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol are required to complete community service or court referral programs. Complete such programs as soon as possible so that it can be reported back to the court that you have fulfilled your sentencing. Also, pay any fines in full as soon as you are able.
If you get a DUI, the charge will probably stay on your record for several years, if not permanently. Potential employers will be able to view these records before they hire you. If you are planning to look for a new job in the near future, be upfront and honest about your DUI charge. It is better to explain the situation beforehand than appear to be covering it up.
Being charged with a DUI is a life changing experience. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, be grateful that you were stopped before you were involved in or caused a serious accident. If handled properly, a DUI charge can be a valuable learning experience.
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