So, you made a bad call after having a few drinks and decided to get behind the wheel.
Whether you get pulled over or not, driving while under the influence can be a life-altering experience for you, your passengers, and everyone else on the road.
But this time, you were pulled over and got charged with a DUI.
Getting a DUI can be one of the most devastating situations that you come across in your adult life. There are eye-opening lessons and consequences that are attached to the entire process.
Here are some tips that you need to know about the process after being charged with driving under the influence.
1. Always Fight It
As was previously mentioned, getting charged with a DUI is a life-changing process, so you’ll want to fight tooth and nail to get it removed.
It doesn’t matter if the DUI happened two days ago or two months ago. Be prepared to hire one of the best Kona DUI Lawyers, put up your dukes, and fight this thing to the end.
There are several factors that DUI Lawyers challenge the court to review on the process such as whether the police had probable cause to pull you over, whether the breathalyzer was messed up, etc.
If they can’t prove one of these factors to the fullest extent, your lawyers may have all the ammunition they need to defend your case.
2. Hiring an Attorney
Once you’re charged with a DUI, you’re going to have to appear in court (whether you elect to fight it or not).
Since you’re going to fight it (always do this!) you’ll want to know your rights of having an attorney.
As the Miranda rights state: you have the right to an attorney. if you can’t afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.
Take the time to review which avenue is the right decision for you. Can you afford an attorney? Does it make sense to hire your own? Weigh it all out before coming to a conclusion.
3. Know the Costs
Even though you’re electing to fight the charge, always prepare for the costs associated with the DUI process.
To do that, you’ll need to know the probable fees that come with your first DUI.
There are court costs ($75-$200), defense attorney costs ($1,000-$5,000), first conviction fees ($250-$1,200), Towing fees ($100-$1,300), and many more that come with the process.
The event as a whole average around a $14,000 expense… life-altering, indeed.
4. First Time Offenders Don’t Often Face Jail Time
There are undoubtedly hundreds of thoughts racing through your head. One of those probably being will I go to jail?
That depends entirely on whether there was an accident involved and the severity of injuries suffered from it.
But rest assured that most first time offenders don’t get sentenced to jail. Instead, they often face probationary periods of up to 3-4 years depending on the severity.
5. Was There a Minor in the Car?
If you were driving under the influence with a child under the age of 16 (a minor) as a passenger, be aware that your arrest can become a felony.
That will force you to serve jail time if you’re convicted of it.
Even if you avoid jail, you’ll be paying higher penalties, fees, and face harsher probationary periods.
6. Know the Consequences of NOT Fighting It
It’s completely understandable, and admirable, that you would want to own up to your mistakes and try to learn from the process.
However, when it comes to a DUI, that is one of the worst things you can do.
Deciding not to fight oftentimes results in harsher penalties than those that choose to fight such as 5 years probation, mandatory alcohol classes, jail time, and increased court fees.
7. Use Every Option at Your Disposal
These days, the DUI and intoxicated driving laws are harsher than ever. That means the court and prosecutor are under more pressure than before to convict those charged with DUIs.
It also means their under more stress to not take a plea bargain, which means you should be prepared for the long fight.
That’s why it’s important to hire the right lawyer who is knowledgeable on all the different legal avenues they can take to get you out of the charges.
Cases are won by exhausting multiple options and your lawyers doing the necessary research and fighting to get charges dropped.
Your current lifestyle literally hangs in the balance, the only ones that can stop it from changing for the worst are you and your attorney… choose wisely and fight like hell!
8. License Suspension
Often times the top question a first-time DUI offender asks (after the jail time question) is will my license get suspended?
Like everything else involved in this case, you’re going to have to fight for it not to be.
After you’re charged with a DUI, you have 10-30 days after being arrested to win your scheduled license hearing. Should you fail to win, it will be automatically suspended.
Make no mistake, this process is completely separate from the ongoing court case that will transpire down the line. That means you could lose the case of your license being suspended, but still win your court case.
Be prepared for any scenario or outcome.
9. The Significant Life Change
Once you’ve been charged with a DUI, you can expect your life to change in many more ways than one.
If your license gets suspended, you’ll have to figure out different transportation arrangements for getting to-and-from work each day.
Being charged with a DUI can result in you being laid off from your current job and putting a significant obstacle in the way of your career.
That’s why it’s crucial to fight these charges and get them removed or dropped from your name.
Getting a DUI: Fight for Your Life
Unfortunately, you made a mistake and were caught behind the wheel. Getting a DUI can be detrimental to your current way of life, so it’s time to protect it!
Be sure to check back on Small Business Brief regularly for tips and tricks for all small businesses.
Best of luck during this process! Remember, there are life lessons you can take from this time that may save you from ever making the mistake again.