DUI laws can be confusing and daunting to navigate, and if you are the driver, there are many factors working against you in court and beyond. If you get a DUI, there are immediate steps you should take to protect yourself and make your current and future life easier. You do not have to let one mistake destroy your life. Following these simple steps will help you better your life and protect yourself.
1. Look up the DUI laws in your state. Each state has different rules and regulations that affect the way the DUI charge is administered, and legal guidelines for law enforcement officials, licensing agencies, and the drivers themselves. Reviewing how your state handles DUI’s will help you understand the process you are involved with from a policy level, and keep you from feeling suspense or surprise. Furthermore, many states have a short time limit after the DUI is administered for setting an administrative hearing. If you want to contest your DUI, you will need to act immediately. For example, California’s DUI laws only give 10 days after the DUI is administered. If you are still in shock from your DUI experience, this time goes very quickly, and you don’t want to miss your chance to have as many options available as possible.
2. Find a reliable and trustworthy attorney. Finding the right attorney to consult about your rights is extremely important. You may want to discuss ways to approach the courts, what to expect in your post DUI experience, and strategies for minimizing negative impact. For example, your attorney can help you negotiate the sometimes rocky waters of discussing your DUI with your employer, and help you protect your career.
Hiring an attorney is another way of keeping on top of your DUI and remaining safe and in control. Moreover, if you are taken to court during your DUI process, you will want to minimize trial time, potentially astronomical fines, and time spent in jail. Your attorney is responsible for helping you stay informed, and for guiding you through the finer points of the law in order to lesson those types of negative repercussions. They can also explain any tangential requirements that might not be well-advertised by the local DUI authorities, or that you might not be able to find without their careful inquiry and work experience. You may even be able to find a lawyer who specializes in DUI particularly, who is very familiar with these types of cases and would be able to work with you to navigate and better understand the DUI laws in your state.
3. Research the guidelines involving your driver’s license through the DMV in your area or online. When you have your license taken away, or if you are working with a temporary license, it is important to know what you can and cannot legally to in order to avoid infringement and possible arrest or jail time. For example, you will want to keep away from your car and the cars of others if you are not allowed to legally operate a vehicle, avoid applying for jobs which require you to drive on a regular basis, or carry your temporary license with you at all times.
If you are on your second DUI or even third you will want to see how the increase in number will affect your abilities, rights, and freedoms. For example, you may be even more limited, the fines will likely increase, and you might also have to serve time in jail. You may have your license revoked for quite a while, and some states have very harsh licensing penalties that you should know about. You will likely also need to stay away from cars for a longer period of time and find alternative transportation like buses, taxies, bicycles, and rails.
Getting a DUI can negatively impact your life, your career, and lead to jail time and unaffordable fines, but taking these steps to inform yourself and take action will help you deter potentially detrimental consequences. Looking up the DUI laws and familiarizing yourself with the DUI process in your specific state, hiring an expert attorney to protect your rights, and knowing your legal limitations will help you both avoid further legal infringement and also help you make a strategy for dealing with the DUI and its consequences.