Getting a DUI is not a pleasant experience, but it does not have to be a criminal offence that ruins your life. This is not an event that defines who you are. People make mistakes every day. It is how you react when these mistakes happen, and how you rebound from them in the future, that will define you as a person. This is where you will prove that the mistake was simply a lapse in judgment, a temporary error. You will show your friends and family members that it does not reflect on your character or your moral fortitude. You need to know what to do when you get a DUI so that you can move on with your life in a positive direction.
Retaining Your Rights
You may have been arrested, but this does not mean that you have lost your rights. You are still a citizen and you have certain rights that are guaranteed to you, that cannot even be taken away if you have broken the law. You need to understand what these are so that you can use them to your advantage in the very moments after the arrest. Some of them are laid out below; familiarize yourself with them so that you have a full understanding of just how things should work.
– Your Miranda Rights are still intact, including the right to remain silent. Do not say anything that will incriminate you further.
– You have a right to a lawyer, and you do not have to answer any questions until he or she arrives. You even get a lawyer that is provided by the state if you cannot afford one.
– You have a right to make phone calls from jail. You should get in touch with your family and your lawyer.
– You have a right to be treated well by the police. They cannot abuse you nor do anything to harm you. As long as you comply with everything that they say, you should be respected by the officers.
– You have the right to a trial. If you are innocent, you will have a chance to prove it.
Reacting When You Are Innocent
The last right that is mentioned in the list above is one that many people tend to forget about. They get pulled over and arrested due to a mistake that the officers have made, and they react with anger. They may even try to resist the officers because they do not want to go to jail. This is not wise. Do not commit a crime by running or fighting. Just go along with the officers and let them do whatever they feel they have to do. You can trust that a trial will clear your name in the future.
Reacting When You Are Guilty
Even if you are guilty, you do not want to do anything to make the situation worse. You have already been caught, so there is nothing that you can do to stop the arrest. Just allow the officers to take you in. If you try to resist them, they can add more charges to your case. The judge will be pleased if you are compliant and remorseful, and you may get a lighter sentence.
Work Hard To Redeem Yourself
After the trial, remember that you need to do everything that the judge says. This might mean time in jail. It might mean fines. It might even mean probation or a suspended license. You have made a mistake by driving under the influence, but you can atone for it if you do what is asked of you.
Steven Petersen is a legal consultant and content contributor for a Chicago DUI lawyer firm–which provides relief for those charged with driving under the influence.