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When someone is charged with a DUI (driving under the influence), they must take immediate action to protect their rights. A DUI can result in fines, jail time, revocation or suspension of driver’s license, and the possibility of a felony criminal record.  

Step 1: Hire a Defense Attorney

If you receive a DUI the most important step you can take to protect yourself is to hire an attorney. An attorney will be able to help you obtain and understand the police reports, procedures, etc. Their knowledge of the law gives them the experience required to analyze all of the evidence and craft the best defense

Step 2: Request a DMV Hearing

When you are arrested for a DUI, in some cases the arresting officer will take your driver’s license away immediately upon the completion of a breath test or a refusal to take a test.  In most cases, you must contact the DMV with 7 days of the date of the offense to request a hearing.  If you request a hearing, the DMV will issue a temporary driving permit that is good for 60 days or until the date of the hearing, whichever comes first.  If you chose a blood test, the DMV will notify you by mail of your blood results, and at that point, you may request a hearing if you choose to do so. 

Step 3: Write Everything Down

DUI cases are usually won or lost with the details of the DUI arrest. It is best to write down everything about the stop like when and where, breath test information and description, conversation descriptions, and anything else that you can remember.

Step 4: The Police Report

After any DUI arrest, the police officer prepares a written arrest report. The police report will help add more information to the details that you remember. The police report may contain biased information, or it may even omit information so be aware that your account or eye witness accounts can be crucial. Your attorney will be able to obtain this for you.

Step 5: Review Your Options

Your defense attorney will explain the different options that you have. Depending on the facts of your case, they may want to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor before appearing in court, or they may advise you to take the case to trial. They will determine what is the best course of action based on the details and evidence in your individual case. If you’ve been charged with a DUI the most important step you can take to protect your rights is to hire a defense attorney. They will be able to help walk you through all of these steps.

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