5 Steps For Successfully Handling First DUI in California

Did you just get a DUI in California, and you don’t know what to do?  This article will walk you through important information you need to know to navigate the system successfully.

Don’t forget about the Driver’s License Suspension or Revocation

  • After you are arrested for DUI, the officer will forward a copy of the form and your confiscated driver’s license to the DMV. You have just 10 days from your receipt of a suspension or revocation order to request a hearing with the DMV, otherwise your license will be automatically suspended or revoked. It is wise to retain an attorney immediately after a DUI arrest to assist you with fighting your driver’s license suspension or revocation.

Evaluate your finances.

  • Take time to evaluate your finances immediately. You may qualify for a public defender.  If not, you may want to retain private counsel.  Understanding your financial position and seeking help from family or friends if necessary can be advantageous to you in preparing a strong defense.  Additionally, if you decide to accept a plea or are found guilty, you can anticipate paying fines, costs of counseling, future costs of an interlock device and SR-22 insurance when you get your license back.

Look for holes in the case against you.

  • This is extremely broad but of the utmost importance. An attorney can look at each aspect of your situation and see possible defenses. Don’t just assume that your case is lost before really analyzing every piece of what happened.
    • Driving – Is there a question of whether you were the driver? What is the evidence of driving?
    • Stop – What was the basis for the stop?
    • Tests – Were the tests administered properly? Were there environmental, health or other factors at play that could have impacted the results?
    • Time – Is the evidence linked in time to the driving, or were the tests performed significantly after the driving occurred?

Get an idea of whether you want to fight or enter a plea.

  • After you have consulted with an attorney about the viability of your defense, a good idea is to consider what you think your best course of action would be. Consider your employment situation. Look at a calendar. Make a thoughtful analysis to decide how you want to proceed. Some defendants turn over all the decision making power to their attorney, but it is important for you to realize that you are the client and the person in charge.

Never give up and do not look back.

  • Many defendants focus on what they could have done or should have done better in the past to prevent a criminal charge. This is good for helping you avoid criminal charges in the future, but otherwise focusing on the past is not productive. Look to the future. Talk to your attorney about the long term plans and expungement in the future. Plan to comply successfully with all the terms of your probation. Prepare to put the DUI behind you and know that you can have a bright future.