Drinking and driving is never a good idea. The roads in Washington DC are notoriously busy, after all, and the odds of causing an accident when you’re impaired are higher than most want to admit. If you are pulled over for drinking and driving, it’s wise to know what you should do next. Once the arrest has occurred, you’ll want to do a few things in relatively short order.
Hire a DUI Attorney
The most important thing you can do after a DUI arrest is to hire an attorney. You don’t just want a general lawyer in this case – you should hire a DC criminal lawyer who specializes in DUI defense. This attorney will not only provide you with representation when dealing with the police and the courts, but he or she will also provide you with the advice you need to move forward.
Perhaps your most pressing concern will be posting bail. After you are arrested, you will likely go to an arraignment. The magistrate will set your bail, at which time you’ll need to post that amount or stay in jail. You (or, more likely) a family member will probably need to find a bail bonds service to help with this, as bail amounts may be higher than you expect. Posting bail will allow you to go home and start working on your next steps.
Make a Show of Good Faith
You may have an easier time negotiating a deal if you make a show of good faith early on. Make sure that you research DUI driving classes in the DC area and take some time to consider counseling for your alcohol-related issues. Drivers who show remorse and who take concrete steps to ensure that they will not make the same mistakes in the future have a much better chance of walking away with a lesser punishment.
Research Your Consequences
DUIs can have many different consequences. While your attorney can certainly keep you apprised of the legal consequences, it’s also a good idea to determine if there will be other, more personal consequences. If you have a professional license, for example, you might want to go ahead and start preparing for a disciplinary hearing. If you operate heavy machinery, on the other hand, you may need to prepare to have your license or certifications revoked.
Prepare for What Comes Next
Finally, you’ll want to prepare for what comes next. You will work with your attorney to determine how you should plead, whether you should make a deal, and to determine what is likely to happen should you go to court. While no attorney can predict the future, you should be able to get a realistic idea of what to expect from your attorney.
The most important step you’ll take after being arrested for a DUI is getting an attorney. Following his or her advice will be vital, so make sure to listen. Make sure that you’re prepared for the consequences of your actions, but don’t give up hope. A good attorney will help you to fight and will represent you as zealously as the law allows.