A Guide for Handling Your DUI

glass with police lights shining through and car keys to the side

Whether it’s your first, second, or third DUI, it’s stressful. You have to prepare to handle a criminal charge, hope for a positive outcome, and not let it all overwhelm you throughout the duration of the case. The team at Newman & Allen has put together some tips for how to handle all aspects of your DUI case in order to get the best possible outcome.

How to Handle Your DUI: Legally

Handling your DUI the right way starts during the initial DUI stop. What you do during these first interactions will have a major impact on the success of your defense.

Here are some of the top things to make sure you do (and don’t do) during the stop.

  • Be Polite: We know it’s frustrating to be pulled over by the police for any reason. However, don’t let that frustration show in your interaction. Be polite and calm; getting irritable could lead to the situation escalating. Additionally, the officer could attribute your irritability to alcohol consumption or guilt.
  • Know Implied Consent Laws: Under implied consent, you are required to take a breath test when asked by police. However, these laws do not cover field sobriety tests. You should never take field sobriety tests; their credibility is highly questionable. If the officer makes it seem as though refusing a field sobriety test will result in consequences, know that that is not true. You fully have the right to refuse with no penalty.
  • Don’t Admit to Drinking: The police officer may ask you how many drinks you’ve had, what bar you were at, or other questions in order for you to admit to drinking and essentially admit guilt. Don’t answer. You do not have to answer; use your right to remain silent. You may think that being honest will help your case, but the best thing you can do for your case is stay quiet.

After Your Stop

If your DUI stop results in you being arrested, you’ll need to take further action. If you are granted bail, ensure you post bail so you can be released from custody. However, many DUI offenders are offered release on their own recognizance, meaning they don’t have to pay bail as long as they agree to attend their court dates and stay out of legal trouble during their case.

After being released from custody, you should begin your search for a defense attorney. Even if you are facing a misdemeanor DUI charge, you should work with an attorney on your case. An attorney can help you pick the best defense strategy based on the details of your case, and fight for your charges to be reduced or dismissed. You want to keep your record clear whenever possible, and working with a defense attorney gives you the best chance of this.

You should then write down every detail you can remember about your arrest. Write down a general timeline, any information you can remember about the officer, what they said, what you said, and details prior to the stop. These details can be used to strengthen your defense.

Additionally, consider these questions in your notes.

  • What was the officer’s reason for pulling you over?
  • What was the officer’s probable cause for arresting you?
  • Did they read you your Miranda rights at any point?

These specific questions and answers could expose police misconduct resulting in significant changes for your case.

How to Handle Your DUI: Emotionally

Going through any criminal case is emotionally taxing. While you handle your DUI, make sure to take care of your mental health.

Many individuals facing DUI charges report feelings of:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt
  • Anger

If you are struggling during your case, seek support from friends, family, or a mental health professional. This will help you feel more in control of the situation.

California DUI Defense Attorney

The team at Newman & Allen is the legal defense team you want to handle your DUI. Call us at (909) 328-6101 to speak with our attorneys about your case. Once we understand your situation, we can build the best defense possible.