A DUI can be a scary thing, especially if it is the first and only time you have been arrested. While an arrest does not instantly mean that you are guilty, and a DUI does not necessarily mean jail time, preparation is key.
Get Ready for a Hearing
Always make sure you are ready for your hearing. Even if you expect to have the charge dropped or are prepared to get a minor sentence, a core part of any hearing is proving that you won’t commit another DUI offense. Proving this properly is not just about evidence but about your own appearance.
The more professional you look and the neater you act, the better the results will usually be. If you can “get your act together” in front of a judge, you have a significantly higher chance of getting away with only a light punishment.
Get a Lawyer
Always. Get. An. Attorney. Many people misunderstand how important an attorney can be. Your Seattle DUI defense attorney might not be able to prove that you were not at fault, but they can help reduce your sentence, help argue for a lower punishment, and help you structure your case properly.
Seattle DUI defense attorney are also much more aware of the law than the average person will be. Even if you think you know laws from watching legal dramas or reading about criminal cases, you should listen to what your attorney says. If they tell you to do something, it is because they think it will get you the best outcome.
Understand Your DUI
There are many types of DUI, and individual states will have their own interpretations of how these DUIs should be defined, handled, and punished. Whether you get a lawyer’s help or do your own research, you should try your best to understand exactly what you are being charged with.
DUI means ‘driving under the influence,’ and the influence is a key part of how your DUI is judged. Your charge depends on what you were influenced by during your drive, how much of it was in your system, and where it came from.
If there is a chance that you might be able to get an innocent verdict, or at least massively reduce your potential punishments, then you should start gathering as much evidence as possible. Your lawyer might advise you to request related details from local law enforcement, save information from dashboard cameras, and so on.
The more you know about your own case, the easier it becomes to argue for a lower penalty or reduced fines. This will not always work, but as long as you stick to the facts, you can usually get off with lighter consequences if your DUI charge is one of the more serious types.
Accept the Situation
In almost all cases, you can’t simply talk your way out of a DUI without going to the hearing. It can be tempting to try and prove that you were innocent or swear off drinking/drugs, but you still need to attend the hearing about your DUI, and that means accepting that it is about to happen. Check out topnewsinc.com, if you want to learn more about it.
This is not accepting defeat – the calmer you can stay, the better your odds are in the trial. Your lawyer is there to do the hard parts for you, so you just need to attend and make sure that you are present if any questions are sent your way.
The faster you can get used to your charge, the easier it is to start looking at every helpful website so you can find better help or useful resources about criminal DUI charges.
Decide What to Plead
When the time comes, you will either plead guilty or not guilty. A guilty plea means that you know you can’t fight the charge – this usually results in lower sentences, which can be reduced even further through participation in rehabilitation courses if your charge was severe enough.
A not-guilty plea means that you think you can fight your charge, either to prove you are innocent or at least reduce your overall sentence. This is the harder route to take, but with a good enough lawyer and solid evidence, you can try to overturn the situation.
Remember that pleading not guilty might involve posting bail, gathering important evidence, and looking for any weaknesses you can find in the prosecution’s case. You need a strategy to pull this off, so talk with your lawyer before you try anything risky.