Charged With A DUI? 4 Steps You Need To Take

If your night out on the town ended up with you being arrested and charged with a DUI, you're going to need legal representation (such as from Boucher Law Firm) fast. Your attorney will be able to walk you through the legal process and help you avoid doing jail time for your offense. If you live in California, there are some additional steps you should take as soon as you've been charged with a DUI. 

Contact the DMV

Once you've been charged with a DUI, you need to contact the DMV as soon as possible. You may be waiting for a court date, but the DMV isn't waiting to proceed with their own actions against you. In California, the DMV will place an automatic suspension on your driver's license 30 days after your arrest.

You can postpone that by requesting a stay of the suspension and a hearing before the DMV. It's important to note that you only have 10 days to request the stay and the hearing though. So, you'll need to act fast to avoid the suspension.

Choose Your Defense

Sometime after your arrest, you'll need to decide how you plan on being defended. This means you'll need to decide between defending yourself and hiring a DUI attorney. If you're low-income, you may also be able to request a public defender. If you're not confident that you can successfully represent yourself, you should seek legal counsel immediately.   

Get a Copy of the Police Report

When you talk to your attorney, you're going to need a copy of the police report. The information contained on the report will help your attorney determine the proper defense strategy for you. It will also include the exact circumstances of your arrest such as your breathalyzer score and your performance in the field sobriety test. Depending on the circumstances, your attorney may be able to get your DUI reduced to reckless driving involving alcohol – or a wet reckless.

Trial or Plea

Finally, you'll need to sit down and decide if you want to proceed with a trial or if you'd rather enter a plea to the charges. It's important to note that there are advantages to both. By going to trial you have the opportunity to present your case, including possible evidence that would support lesser charges. By accepting a plea bargain, you can avoid a trial and possibly receive a more lenient sentence. Your attorney can help you make the decision that's best for you.

If you've been charged with a DUI, you need to act fast to protect your rights. Use the information provided here to help you understand the process in California.