Driving while under the influence is an extremely dangerous and potentially life threatening choice to make. However, we all make mistakes. If this is your first time being charged with a DUI, below are some steps you should take next:
1) Find an attorney. Legal counsel will undoubtedly be needed during this time to ensure you are accurately represented. Search for someone who has experience with DUI cases and present a written detailed account of what happened so they are aware of the events that occurred the night you were pulled over for drinking while intoxicated. Remember, honesty is the best policy.
2) Show up to your court date. Have all documents ready and witnesses on hand to testify in your defense. Arrive on time and dressed in an appropriate manner. Failing to attend your court date will result in even more serious legal trouble for you.
3) Abide by the judge’s ruling. You may be fined, sentenced to attend DUI classes, placed on probation, have your license revoked or restricted, or be placed in jail. The outcome of your case depends upon the severity of your offense.
4) Keep your insurance with you at all times. In some cases, insurance companies have dropped customers who have received DUI charges. If you’re still in possession of your driver’s license, be sure to have your insurance card with you. In some states, an SR-22 form will need to be filed, which states that you have the right amount of insurance required by your state. The SR-22 and your insurance will need to be on you for a minimum of three years. If for some reason your insurance policy is cancelled or terminated, the insurance company will notify proper authority and your driver’s license can be suspended. Don’t worry, there are insurance companies that offer coverage for DUI offenders.
5) Obtain your license. Chances are, you will lose your driver’s license after you’re charged, even if for a brief period of time. After your suspension period is over, you may be able to receive a temporary or restricted license, which allows you to transport to and from work and whichever alcohol program you are a part of due to your sentencing. In order to receive your full license back in your possession, you will need to successfully complete your sentence and prove you have insurance (by filling out the SR-22 form). Fees may be required by your state to re-issue your license.