I’ve Been Arrested for DUI – Now What?

By | May 13, 2011

Being arrested for Driving Under the Influence (aka DUI) can be a traumatic experience for some.  For others, it can be far too common.  But whatever your experience is, you’ve come to this article because you’ve been arrested for DUI and you’re in need of some serious legal advice that could affect the way you live for the rest of your life.  It’s important that you get this process right and that you take a level-headed approach to your legal problems before they add up on you. This article should steer you in that direction.Many people have illusions about the legal process at this point. Some people think they can hire a lawyer to “get them off” for a crime the police can prove they committed. Others think they have no chance at avoiding legal trouble, but their case might include a specific detail that means they’re not in as much trouble as they think. Whatever the case is for you, try to take a calm and rational approach with realistic expectations – no lawyer can work magic, but what they can do is use their experience and knowledge to find the best ways to handle your case.  The least you can do in return is follow the instructions you’re about to read about.

Right to Remain Silent

First, if you’ve been arrested for a DUI, say as little as possible to the police. You’re being arrested, which means you have the “right to remain silent.” If you were not given these rights, then the police have made a mistake and there could be some legal troubles for them on that front. Even though police will use a number of techniques to get you to talk, it’s not your obligation to talk.


It’s also important that you cooperate with the police during an arrest; resisting arrest makes you look guilty and won’t exactly help you in court. It’s also another crime to resist arrest, so really you’re just adding to your troubles instead of defending yourself.

Of course, many of you are coming to this article having already been arrested, so let’s take a look at what to do now that you’ve got court dates and other things to worry about.


Next you’ll want to take out a piece of paper and write down as many details about that night as you can remember.  How many drinks did you have? What time were they? When did you drive?  Where were you driving to, and where were you driving from?  All of these details which seemed insignificant at the time will suddenly become important cornerstones to your case, so you’ll certainly want to consider them carefully and be as honest as possible. Once you have this list, you should be able to consult with a lawyer for advice.

Each lawyer has his or her own way of giving advice, but generally you’ll want to find a lawyer with DUI experience (not necessarily first-hand experience with DUI arrests, mind you) who’s able to tell you what you need after hearing these details.  Be sure to share all of the information you’ve gathered, including if this is your first arrest or not, and whether or not it’s your first DUI arrest.

Bad Client vs. Good Client

Your lawyer will be able to guide you through much of the case at this point, but that’s not where the tips should end. Even though you don’t view yourself as a bad client, there are a lot of “bad clients” out there – people who get in their own way more than they should. So don’t think that having a lawyer clears you from having to think, having to behave well, or having to cooperate with the coming events.

How do you make sure you don’t clash with your lawyer? You’ll have to trust their advice.  Even if you think you’re totally innocent, an experienced lawyer can look at your case for 15 seconds and determine how guilty it can be proven you are.  Their instincts and understanding of these cases certainly eclipses yours – even, unfortunately, after you’ve read this article.  So don’t try to take control of the case from your lawyer; if you do anything, simply switch lawyers.

Communication with Your Lawyer

Give all of the details of the case to this lawyer and do your best to show up to all hearings on time.  You’ll also want to be in touch with your lawyer, which means you’ll want to be available for phone calls, emails, and other forms of communication with them – whichever your lawyer prefers. As the lawyer prepares you to handle your DUI case, you might find that they’re very good at predicting what’s going to happen; it’s because they’ve been there before.

Can’t Afford a Lawyer?

What if you can’t afford a lawyer? Well, always try to find some free legal advice from a professional where you can, but remember that there are a few things you can do on your own to enhance your chances of success. The first is research – like you’re doing now. You’ll learn so much about DUIs that you should feel like an expert after your case is done. You can also make sure that your personal appearance is tip-top; no one likes reducing the penalties for someone who looks like they’re headed for another DUI in the future. Look like you take your case seriously.

Above all, remain calm and rational about the situation. You might be surprised to learn about the law and what it says about your case – and this might be a pleasant surprise. If you tackle your problems with a calm head, you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish.

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