6 Tips for What to Do After a DUI Arrest in Columbia, SC
Were you recently arrested for a DUI and need advice? Are you unsure of how to proceed? We're here to give you 6 tips on what to do after a DUI arrest.
Your recent DUI arrest is something you'd rather forget but probably won't be able to. Getting pulled over and then hauled into the local station for anything is an embarrassing, humiliating experience.
It's made worse when you don't know what to do after a DUI.
After your first arrest, it may be tempting to ask friends and family who've been in the same boat for advice. Following advice given by anyone who isn't a barred lawyer is a mistake.
In the past several years, DUI law has grown increasingly more complicated. Procedures and protocols have changed.
The only people who are required to keep up with the changes are DUI lawyers and law enforcement officers.
Let's cover six tips for what to do after a DUI.
1. Take A Chemical Test
In South Carolina, you are not bound to do a field sobriety test. These tests consist of using a breathalyzer to gauge the amount of alcohol you've been drinking.
If you do refuse the field sobriety test, the officer will likely order you to take a chemical test at the station. The chemical test will measure either your blood or urine to determine how much alcohol you've consumed.
It is important to note that if you refuse to take the field sobriety test, you absolutely must take the chemical test. Not doing so will hurt your case in court. Plus, it will almost definitely be required by the officer who brought you in.
South Carolina law requires arrestees to take the field sobriety test within two hours of arrest. Chemical tests must be taken with three hours after the arrest.
2. Write Down What Happened
There is an old saying that goes, "The devil is in the details." The outcome of DUI cases is based on the details given in court.
You may think, "What does the judge need to know besides the test results?" The test results aren't the only thing the judge will take into consideration when ruling.
To examine the details of your case, write down everything you remember from your arrest. Where and at what time were you pulled over? How did you respond to the officer?
But don't just think about you. Think about the officer.
Why did he say he pulled you over? If he gave you the field sobriety test, what did the breathalyzer look like? Were any other field sobriety tests (such as walking or balancing) administered?
A mistake on the part of the officer could cause your case to be thrown out.
3. Get Witnesses
Search high and low for anyone you were with before, during, and after your arrest. Ask them if they would be willing to testifying on your behalf during your hearing.
Witnesses can be crucial to winning a DUI case. That holds true even if they can't testify to exactly what happened at the time of your arrest. They can still attest to your high morals and character, especially if this is your first DUI.
4. Maintain A Private Online Presence
It is a fact that police agencies use social media and tracking software to monitor potential criminal activity.
The means don't have to be sophisticated, either. Some officers start fake profiles using stock photos and add those whom they're monitoring to their friends list. That way, they have full access to your profile and know when you post something you shouldn't.
After you get a DUI charge, you should go to great lengths to make your online presence private. Make sure all information is set to friends-only. Delete anyone you don't know in real life.
And above all, delete any incriminating posts and pictures, including old ones. Photos from a party two years ago where you got smashed could be used to portray you as a serial drunk in court.
Additionally, don't make any new posts about your DUI charge or anything related to it.
5. Hire A DUI Lawyer
Lawyers specialize in different areas of the law. The kind of lawyer you need is one who specializes in DUI law. Hiring a DUI lawyer ensures the lawyer is up-to-date on DUI law and proceedings.
Bear in mind that not all lawyers are created equally. Read reviews of any lawyer you're thinking of hiring and gauge whether or not they're competent with DUI law.
If you can't find adequate reviews of the lawyer in question, try a local referral center. They may know of a local lawyer who fits the bill.
Additionally, you can ask friends, family, and neighbors if they know of a lawyer who can help you.
Be aware that some DUI lawyers specialize in plea deals while others specialize in trials.
When you find a lawyer you may want to hire, arrange a meeting. While in the appointment, check their credentials and experience. Gauge how they advise you on what to do after a DUI.
6. Make Better Choices
Everyone is human and bound to make mistakes.
However, some mistakes are more condemning than others. And one of those mistakes is getting a DUI.
In the future, you should take better precautions when you drink. When you go out, don't drink if you plan on driving. If you do drink, have a friend or taxi drive you home.
You don't want multiple doors to close on you because of one mistake.
Still Not Sure What To Do After A DUI? Contact Us!
How you handle a DUI can have a huge impact on your future. For that reason, you should consult the best DUI lawyer you can find.
At Reeves and Lyle, we understand your situation. We know people make mistakes. And we've represented, advised, and supported many clients who've faced DUI charges.
If you're still unsure what to do after a DUI or you need representation, feel free to reach out to us.
Your future depends on it.