You were arrested for a misdemeanor DUI and now are probably going through many different emotions. Based on thousands of driving while under the influence cases, we have put together a checklist of things that need to be done as soon as possible after the DUI arrest.
The information you write down by yourself or with your attorney won’t be shared with the police or the prosecutors, so it is safe to notate it all to avoid forgetting important information your attorney may want or need for your defense.
Try to write down everything you can as much as possible. Start with the day before and everything leading up to the DUI arrest. This can include what you were doing that day, where you were, who you were with; all the way up to how many police officers were involved, if you were handcuffed, and if your car was searched.
Try to remember if you asked for an attorney and if you waived your rights to remain silent and have an attorney present.
Other things to consider: did you submit to a breathalyzer or any chemical tests; did you submit to a field sobriety test at the side of the road; were you taken to prison; what was your bond amount; and did you post your bond.
Some questions to answer include: how much sleep you had the few days prior; if you have any health concerns or take any medication; if you have mental health issues; or if you were dieting around the time of your arrest.
Your physical condition is extremely important to understand how alcohol may have been affecting your body, so write down everything.
It is also recommended to write down how you were treated and how you felt while in jail.
Make a list of everything you had in your car prior to the arrest and another list of items in your car after the arrest. This way it is documented for your attorney.
Also write down if there are “extra” items in your car that weren’t there at the time of your arrest.
This is especially important if your car was impounded or towed.
Make sure the police gave you the information and proper paperwork to retrieve your car from the impound lot.
Make sure to retrieve your car as soon as possible, because there could be excessive fees applied to cars that are not picked up in a reasonable time.
Save all information from the impound lot, including receipts and documentation of the impound.
If you believe that your car was damaged at the time of the impound, photograph it as soon as possible. Be sure to write down information about the damage as well.
This includes items in your car, trunk, glove compartment, etc. Also inspect your car for any damage that may have been done during the impound and storage.
Make sure you retrieve all your keys that were on your keyring as well.
It is extremely important to hire a criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable and skilled in defending DUI charges. A talented criminal defense attorney will know the intricacies of the DUI criminal and traffic laws and will be able to better argue your defense.
They will want to know all the information surrounding your arrest and the circumstances before and after your DUI arrest, in order to argue the best defense. A good defense will often lead to the DUI arrest leading to a dismissal, reduction, or diverted charge; all of which are better than a DUI conviction.
The first thing you and your attorney should do is set up a DMV Hearing. This request MUST be done within 24 hours of your arrest, so it is important to retain an attorney QUICKLY.
The DMV Hearing is where your attorney will argue for you to keep your license while fighting the DUI charge.