Being charged with a DUI can be very stressful. Particularly if you do not know what to do immediately after a DUI. But what you do next is very important, as it has a tremendous impact on the rest of your case. Today we are talking about the most important things to do after you have been charged with a DUI.
The first step is to get out of jail. Your bail will be set at some point after you have been charged and booked. This means the officers have collected fingerprints, taken your mugshot, and recorded your personal information. Once someone posts your bail, the officers release and give instructions on when and where to appear before a court. If you are unable to post bail, you will have to remain in jail until your court appearance. The judge at this court appearance will then determine if you can be released. In Florida, you must remain in jail at least 8 hours after an arrest for DUI.
If you get out of jail before your first court appearance, law enforcement will provide you with paperwork containing the details of your arraignment. The arraignment is your first court hearing regarding your DUI. You must appear at this hearing unless your attorney has filed a Written Plea of Not Guilty on your behalf. However, the court allows you to hire a criminal defense attorney to appear with you and speak on your behalf. Be sure that this paperwork is provided to any defense attorney you hire.
After a DUI arrest, your license will be suspended if your breath-alcohol level was above 0.08 or you refused to take the breath test. The duration of the suspension can vary depending on whether or not this is your first offense or if you complied with a chemical test. The duration of the suspension typically begins at six months and increases from there with the specific factors of your case. It is important that you determine the status of your license suspension as driving with a suspended license will add certain other penalties. In certain circumstances, you may be eligible to get a business-purpose only license (BPO).
Locate Your Vehicle
When you are arrested for DUI, your vehicle will be impounded by law enforcement. In order to get it back, you will need to determine which impound lot your vehicle was taken to and what fees you need to pay in order to recover it. So long as you recover it within the first 10 days after your arrest, you will be able to pick it up yourself. After 10 days, the driver’s license suspension for a high breath alcohol result or refusal begins. As such, if you pick it up after 10 days from arrest you will also need to arrange for another person to drive the vehicle or pay to have it towed away.
Call a DUI Lawyer
The next, and arguably most important step, is to hire a DUI defense attorney. This is the person who will speak on your behalf before the judge and help you to navigate the long and stressful process of recovering your license, vehicle, and can determine the best strategy to get your charges dropped or minimized. If you have been charged with a DUI, call Valrico Law Group right away to get started.