What are the steps I should take immediately after being arrested for DUI?
Being arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) leads to a complicated and intimidating process that can be too much for some to handle. We’ve compiled some tips to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
Where do I need to go?
There are two separate institutions that have the power to suspend your license after you’re arrested for DUI:
- DMV: You can request a DMV hearing yourself.
- Courts: Criminal charges from DUI mean you’ll have to go to court to submit a plea.
Step 1: Call the DMV ASAP!
When arrested for DUI, your driver’s license will be taken away, and you’ll be given a pink slip instead. The slip acts as a 30-day replacement; after those initial 30 days, you will no longer be allowed to drive. However, you can ask for a hearing to extent that 30-day period. Here’s what to do:
- Call the DMV within 10 business days: This is how long you have to request a Stay and a Hearing. These two requests will allow you to drive longer and possibly avoid getting your license suspended entirely. A Stay allows you to drive for up to 3 months after your arrest. A Hearing will allow you to contest DMV suspension of your license.
- Call a Driver Safety Office in your county, NOT just your local DMV: Although a Driver Safety Office is a branch of the DMV, it is not where you go to get your driver’s license. There are 16 locations throughout California, and you must contact the one closest to where you were arrested. Check the website here.
Be sure to write down the date and the name of the person who you talk to when you call just in case.
Step 2: Obtain a copy of your Police Report
If you’re going to have a DMV hearing, you need a copy of your police report, which will include important details about the arrest: why the officer stopped you, the results of the breathalyzer and blood tests, and the officer’s opinion regarding your sobriety.
- Request a copy of your report when you call the DMV to request a hearing.
- Be sure to remember your side of the story: The police report might be biased against you, so try to remember and record all the details of your encounter with the officer (your conversation, any witnesses in the area, etc.).
Step 3: Pick your legal defense
While you do have the option to use a public defender or defend yourself (bad idea!), hiring a reliable, professional Orange County DUI attorney is ideal to give you peace of mind during this stressful time. Using a DUI attorney ensures that your legal team has the expertise and background necessary to navigate you through the process as painlessly as possible.
The benefits of using a DUI attorney are numerous, ranging from going to court for you, getting your case thrown out, or negotiating a plea bargain, among other advantages. Make sure to interview the attorney first, inquire about their experience with DUIs, and get a clear understanding of how their fees work.
Contact the Law Offices of Chad Maddox today to ensure you are receiving the best possible defense against your DUI charge.