So, just because you were pulled over and blew over the legal limit, doesn’t mean your life is over.
It can be an incredibly intimidating experience. And it can be embarrassing, particularly as people drive by while you’re trying to perform a sobriety test. You may just want to put the whole experience behind you and never look back.
That’s a mistake. Because nothing is set in stone. No matter how steadfast the arresting officer may seem, you can fight this. And there are a few things you can do right away to make sure you have a fighting chance.
Here are four things you need to remember following a DUI arrest in Austin.
1. Realize What’s at Stake
You may feel like the damage has already been done — that fighting isn’t worth it. But considering your options is always worth it when discussing criminal charges. And a DUI arrest does involve criminal charges.
You may not know that much about the law. You may think a DUI arrest in Austin is a traffic offense. We’re here to tell you that it’s much more serious than that.
As is the case in the rest of Texas, a DUI arrest in Austin can lead to criminal charges. There are only a few states, including Wisconsin and New Jersey, that do not consider a DUI or DWI a criminal offense.
But if you receive your DUI arrest in Austin, you need to take this process seriously. Because it has serious repercussions.
Tip: Document Everything
Take out a pen or your smartphone and start writing. You need to have a record of every single thing that happened during the arrest.
This can include:
- Where you were you pulled over
- The name of the arresting officer
- The reason the officer gave you for pulling you over
- What did you say?
Sometimes the details of your answers on the night in question are the most important. Try to document or remember what you told the officer about what you had to eat or drink prior to being pulled over and both where you were headed and coming from.
Other important factors to consider are:
- What test did the officer make you perform? (Eye movement, breathalyzer, etc.)
- What were the results of those tests?
- Were those tests performed fairly? (For example: were you forced to maintain your balance on uneven ground?)
The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory, so make sure you get this all down while it’s still fresh. That way you’re not straining to remember or forced to say something you’re not sure about later.
2. Take a Look at Your Social Media Accounts
First of all, mark them all as private as soon as possible. This will prevent anybody from seeing what you’ve recently posted. The last thing you want is someone to use a bar/club picture from earlier that night against you.
Here’s how to mark each one private
- Make Your Facebook Account Private
- Make Your Twitter Account Private
- Make Your Instagram Account Private
- Make Your Snapchat Account Private
- Make Your Tumblr Account Private
Next, go through and give your accounts a scrub for anything inappropriate or drug and alcohol-related. We’re not asking you to change who you are. Just take down any questionable posts or pictures that may possibly appear incriminating.
If there is even question about how appropriate it is, take it down to be safe. If anything can possibly be taken out of context, take it down immediately.
Take anything down from that night. You may not have been drinking, but as anyone who has taken a bad selfie can tell you, you don’t have to be drunk to look drunk in a picture — especially if you’re surrounded by people who are drinking.
3. Build Your Witness Pool
You need to get as many people as you can on your side. Of course, the best witness is someone who can tell people that you didn’t drink that night. Or can attest to how responsible you were being.
Is there a bartender you know who remembers serving you nothing but Sprite all night because you were driving? Or a friend who can attest to the fact that you were the DD for the night? You can use them.
Your defence is all about building as strong a case as possible to defend you, and witnesses always create a very compelling case.
If you know of anyone who can help you, ask them if they wouldn’t mind testifying on your behalf. If they’re hesitant, say you understand and hate to put them in this position. But their words could make a difference between guilty and not guilty.
4. Hire a Lawyer With Experience with DUI Arrests in Austin
You don’t need to go into this alone. In fact, going in alone is about the last thing you want to do.
First of all, things will be stressful enough. You don’t need the added stress of uncertainty and trying to figure everything out on your own. You’re not a lawyer. You’re not an expert on DUIs. You need to work with someone who is.
An experienced DUI lawyer understands the intricacies of a DUI arrest and the science behind all of the tests and steps involved. They know how to build the best possible case on your behalf and should have a proven history of winning these types of cases.
Don’t be afraid to ask your potential lawyer some specific questions. Ask then how many of these cases they have won in the past. Were any of those cases like this one? Were any in the same geographic area, or even by the same arresting officer?
Like anything, don’t forget to look for online reviews.
Get the Reassurance You Need
It’s amazing how much better you can feel after a single phone call or meeting with an expert. Suddenly you feel like things are not so black and white, and you have a real chance to fight this and win.
If you meet with a lawyer and they don’t make you feel that way, it’s probably best you find someone else. You’re trusting this person with your life, your driving record and your criminal record. You need to be sure they are the right attorney for you.
If you’re worried about a DUI arrest in Austin, we can help. Click here to contact us.