Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense, and if you’ve been charged with one, it can have severe repercussions that affect you for years. Although there’s no “get-out-of-jail-free card” in this situation, there are a few things you can do to handle your DUI in the best way possible.
Figure out What Could Happen with Your Driver’s License
In many states, your driver’s license will be suspended after getting a DUI. You should check with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for your state’s specific guidelines. You may be able to schedule a hearing with your local DMV and at least delay the suspension of your license until after your case ends.
Stay out of Trouble
Both during your case and afterwards, it’s crucial that you avoid any future offenses. These will only make your situation that much worse. It’s good to play it safe by staying away from alcohol, as well, and you may benefit from signing up for an alcohol treatment program. Not only can this help you manage your drinking better, but it looks good in court.
Fulfill Any Terms of Your Punishment
If you’re found guilty, then there could be fines, a requirement to complete an alcohol treatment program and potentially jail time, although the latter is rare for a first offense. Whatever your punishment is, make sure that you fulfill everything to the letter.
Find a DUI Attorney
Trying to defend yourself on your own or with a court-appointed attorney is a generally terrible decision for a DUI. You need a criminal defense lawyer who can go over the facts of the case, see if there is anything that could be useful for your defense and potentially negotiate a good plea deal for you.
Consider Your Insurance Options
Your insurance carrier can and likely will drop you for your DUI charge. If not, they’ll raise your rates substantially because of the higher risk you represent. Look online to compare insurance options for drivers who have a DUI on their record. You’ll still need sufficient insurance coverage if you’re going to be driving.
Your life will certainly be more complicated in the aftermath of your DUI charge. Still, if you’re smart about how you handle everything, you’ll get yourself back on track with as few problems as possible.