First 5 Things To Do After a Florida DUI Arrest
Everyone makes mistakes, but law enforcement and prosecutors aren’t very sympathetic when it comes to those who violate Florida’s statute on driving under the influence. There’s little you can do to talk your way out of a DUI arrest at the scene, but you can take action to positively affect your case going forward. The first five tasks to tackle – after you contact an experienced Florida DUI defense lawyer – should include:
1. Jot Down All the Details of Your Arrest: The smallest details could actually make a big difference in a DUI case, so make sure to write down everything you recall about being arrested. Document the location of the stop, the date, and the time. You should also note any conversations with police and whether you were requested to perform any physical tests. If there was anything unusual about the surrounding circumstances, take notes. They may be important to your case if your memory fades over time.
2. Adjust Your Online Settings: Prosecutors will draw from all available resources to build evidence against you in a drunk driving case, so don’t provide them with information that helps them convict you. Information on your social media profiles can be very damning, even if the picture of you at a party or check-in at a bar was on a different night. Change your settings to private or disable your social media accounts entirely.
3. Make Arrangements for Substance Abuse Treatment: There’s a good chance a potential sentence for drunk driving in Florida will include the requirement to complete an alcohol abuse assessment and/or treatment program. If you take the initiative and sign up before your court date, you demonstrate to the judge that you’re taking the matter seriously and willing to accept your mistakes.
4. Be Prepared for Potential Penalties: Though you could have a solid defense to the charges or may qualify for a pretrial diversion, it’s important to understand what you’re facing if convicted for drunk driving. A first-time offense may include a sentence of six months in jail, six months on probation, and a maximum fine up to $1,000. Plus, your driver’s license could be suspended for up to six months. The penalties increase in severity with second and subsequent offenses, for extremely high blood alcohol concentration (BAC), or if you had minor children in the vehicle.
5. Get Ready for Your Court Date: When your court date arrives, treat the judge, court staff, and criminal proceedings themselves with a high level of respect. Dress professionally, as if you’re going to a job interview. During the hearing, follow your attorney’s lead and always address the court with “sir,” “ma’am,” and proper manners.
Consult with a Knowledgeable Florida Drunk Driving Defense Attorney
These tips on what to do after a DUI arrest are important, but you can also trust your lawyer to provide any additional suggestions that may help your case. If you’re facing charges, please contact attorney Kevin J. Kulik to set up a consultation at our Fort Lauderdale office. We can discuss potential defense strategies after learning more about your situation.