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First Steps in Beating Your First DUI

A DUI starts with a police officer pulling someone over for any reason at all. It could be that the officer believes the driver is driving erratically on the road, or it can be for a standard traffic stop – such as not having the right brake tags or a broken taillight. Once the officer suspects that the driver has been drinking alcohol and may be under the influence a roadside sobriety test will ensue. This often includes a Breathalyzer test. The test can normally be conducted either at the site of the traffic stop or at the DUI testing center. The officer will likely give you the option of where to take it. You do have the right to refuse the test; however, that is not advisable. Upon refusal, you may immediately have your license suspended and face a DUI charge right away. 

A first-time offender DUI charge is typically a misdemeanor DUI. However, this differs depending on other circumstances, such as if there were illicit drugs involved, the driver’s BAC level, property damage, or bodily harm.  

In many cases, a DUI charge will lead to some jail time at first. This depends on the situation, how intoxicated the officer believes the driver is, and the willingness of the driver to cooperate with the police. If you are not released right away, you will be booked, have your mugshot taken, and be fingerprinted. You may have to stay in jail until you are sober, or in some states, you must stay in jail for a minimum number of hours. You will likely have to call a bail bondsman to secure a bond and your release from jail. 

In addition to possible jail time, fines, a lengthy legal battle, and car insurance rate increases are other consequences of a DUI. Getting your license taken away for any length of time is treated as a “good faith” attempt to not make the mistake again. This is often coupled with DUI classes as a form of therapy. You may also lose your car.  

After being arrested for a DUI, there are several steps that you can take to increase your chances of beating the DUI charge. There are five steps that you can follow to better your chances in court. 

  1. Take the chemical test after the arrest – if you refuse to take the test, as described above, you have little to gain and much to lose. It is designed to determine the level of alcohol in your blood at the time of your arrest. Cooperating with the police is always advisable in these situations. 
  1. Contact a DUI attorney – general attorneys are not the same as seasoned DUI attorneys. DUI laws are complex and require an in-depth understanding of the legal system, and only well-qualified DUI attorneys are practiced in this area to gain a favorable outcome in the DUI case.  
  1. Locate a bail bondsman – often after an arrest, posting bail is required and this may require the help of a bondsman. Bail bondsmen require a fee up front, and once that fee is paid, they post the bail for you to be released from jail. The fee can be expensive, but it is less expensive that paying the entire bail to the court. The bail bondsman then guarantees your appearance at all your court hearings. So, if you do not appear, the bondsman will likely come looking for you. 
  1. Request a DMV hearing – after your arrest, you have ten days to make a formal request for a DMV hearing. The hearing will determine whether you can keep your driver’s license or not. If you or your attorney do not request a DMV hearing in the specified time, your license will be automatically suspended. 
  1. Prepare for your arraignment – the arraignment is the portion of your case during which you enter your plea. It is not advisable to enter a plea of guilty. It is possible to fight and win DUI charges. A plea of not guilty will give you a jury trial, during which it is possible to show that you were not driving drunk or challenge the merits of the case in other ways. 

H Law Group Online

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