5 Steps to Take After Getting Arrested for a DUI
Being arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is a serious crime in Reno and the state of Nevada, and it can expose individuals to severe short- and long-term penalties. These include hefty fines and fees, court-ordered DUI school, driver’s license suspension, and possible terms of imprisonment – all of which can be made worse when aggravating circumstances are involved, such as high BAC levels, child passengers, accidents and injuries, and prior convictions.
Over the years, Joey Gilbert Law has cultivated a reputation for our experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys, as well as our ability to effectively fight on behalf of clients facing various DUI charges across Reno and Northern Nevada. Because we know having the facts and right information can make all the difference for individuals who stand accused, and aid them as they defend themselves, we have compiled a list of 5 important steps you can take to protect your rights after a DUI arrest.
- Know Your Rights – Whether this is your first time being charged with a crime or not, you need to understand your rights. This includes your right to remain silent and avoid providing law enforcement with any information that can be used against you, both during an initial stop and at any type following your formal charges. You should also understand that you have the right to an attorney who can help you navigate the criminal justice system and process ahead. Most importantly, you should understand you have the right to fight and challenge the government’s case against you. Just because you have been arrested does not mean you are guilty – your right to a presumption of innocence means the government is tasked with proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Challenging their version of the facts, evidence, and other elements in a case (including law enforcement conduct during a stop and arrest) is critical to pursuing a positive outcome.
- Understand What’s at Stake – DUIs may be a relatively common charge today, especially as law enforcement officers have cracked down aggressively on drunk driving, but that does not mean they aren’t serious crimes that pack serious penalties. In fact, DUI convictions can create numerous repercussions for individuals, including financial burdens of fines, fees, court-ordered classes and other hidden costs, as well as the loss of one’s driving privileges. They can also pose long-term threats to one’s work and career, as employers and certain professionals look unfavorably upon criminal records. DUI convictions can also result in imprisonment, especially in cases involving multiple or felony DUI, which is why understanding your charges and the penalties at stake can help you understand what’s on the line and why it is important to fight for your rights, freedom, and future.
- Don’t Delay – Time is of the essence after being charged with any criminal offense, and especially so after a DUI. By acting fast, you can begin working on your defense, particularly with the help of an attorney. Because you only have 10 days following your arrest to request an administrative license hearing, timely action is all the more important. If you miss the 10-day deadline, you will not be able to defend your driving privileges at a DMV hearing (conducted separately from criminal cases) and your license will be suspended when your 30-day temporary license expires.
- Stay Organized – After a DUI arrest, you want to be sure you are organized and that you maintain all documentation pertaining to your arrest. Not only can this help a lawyer you choose to work with, it can keep you apprised of court dates, license suspensions, and other matters required of you. Should you fail to appear or continue to drive when your license has been automatically suspended, for example, you risk facing additional consequences.
- Call an Experienced Lawyer – One of the most important steps to take following a DUI arrest, and one that should be done immediately, is to contact an experienced lawyer like those at Joey Gilbert Law. By working with a private attorney who has the time, resources, and real-life experience to guide you through your journey, you can obtain the support needed to take the proper steps and defend yourself against the allegations and penalties you face. At Joey Gilbert Law, we make ourselves available 24/7 to help clients immediately after their arrests.
If you or someone you love has been arrested for DUI, don’t wait to make the most important call you can. Contact Joey Gilbert Law to learn how our Reno DUI lawyers can fight for you.