Five Steps To Take After A Houston DUI Arrest
Getting arrested for driving under the influence can be a terrifying experience – particularly if you have never been arrested before. You most likely will have a lot of questions. How can you best protect yourself? What happens next? Is your driver’s license at risk? In a lot of cases, just one drink is enough to raise your blood alcohol level above the legal limit. Regardless of how high or low your BAC is, you will face serious legal repercussions if you are arrested for DUI. That is why it is so important to take action. Following the right steps after you are arrested can have a big impact on how your case turns out.
Step #1 – Don’t Refuse The Chemical Test
Most states have laws that require drivers to submit to chemical tests if they are pulled over under suspicion of DUI. The purpose of the chemical test is to measure the amount of alcohol in your blood. The officer relies on this information when they pull you over to determine whether or not your BAC level is under the legal limit. Refusing to take the test can result in automatic penalties, which is why it is always best to agree to take it.
Step #2 – Reach Out To A Lawyer Who Specializes In DUI Cases
When choosing a lawyer, find someone who works specifically on DUI cases. The laws involving arrests like these are extremely complicated. A lawyer who deals with these cases on a regular basis is in a far better position to help you get a good outcome in your DUI case. If you go with a general attorney, you probably won’t stand much of a chance of getting the charges reduced or dropped.
Step #3 – Find A Bail Bondsman
After you are arrested, you may be forced to post bail before you are released from jail. The easiest way to come up with bail is by working with a bondsman. To use their services, you will need to pay them an upfront fee. Once they have the money in hand, they will then post your bail. Even though this does cost quite a bit of money, it is still cheaper than paying the entire amount of your bail. When they post bail for you, the bondsman is guaranteeing that you will show up in court. If you miss any of your hearings, they will search for you until they find you.
Step #4 – Request A Hearing At The Department Of Motor Vehicles
Within 10 days of your arrest, contact the DMV to request a hearing. The purpose of this hearing is to determine whether your license will be suspended. If you fail to request the hearing within the allotted amount of time, an automatic driver’s license suspension will kick in. The only way to fight the suspension is by setting up a hearing so that you can argue your case.
Step #5 – Get Ready For The Arraignment
The part of your trial where you enter a plea in court is known as the arraignment. Whatever you do, don’t plead guilty. There are a lot of ways that you can beat DUI charges – especially if you have good legal counsel. If you plead not guilty, you will be given a chance to have a trial in front of a jury. During this trial, your lawyer can either provide proof that you were sober or they can find another way to beat or reduce the charges.