Being arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) can be frightening and overwhelming, especially if this is your first time. You may have many pressing questions running through your mind, such as will I lose my driver’s license, who will find out, will I lose my job, and what steps do I need to take now.
Steps to Take After Your DUI Arrest
Many drivers do not know what to do following a DUI charge. However, the steps you do or do not take now can largely impact what happens in the days and weeks to come or even for the rest of your life. Working closely with a DUI lawyer and following their advice on what to do following a DUI charge can help improve the outcome of your DUI charge both now and in the future.
Agree to the Blood Test
As angry or as shocked as you might be at the time of your DUI arrest, it is best to be cooperative and compliant. When asked to take a chemical test after your arrest, do so. This test will reveal your current blood alcohol level (BAC), which will be used to craft the charges you face. Especially if you refused the field sobriety test, you should agree to the chemical blood test. In Tennessee, if you refuse a BAC test, your license can be automatically suspended.
Find and Hire an Experienced DUI Attorney
Your next priority should be to schedule a consultation with and hire a DUI lawyer. Since DUI laws are complicated and require an in-depth understanding of the law, it is best to work with a DUI attorney who has successful real-life experience defending DUI clients. Of course, other attorneys have experience representing their clients in court, but without DUI experience, the results of your case could be jeopardized.
Find a Bail Bondsman
It is quite common for your DUI charges to require you to post bail. Next, find a bail bond agent. Instead of posting the total amount of your bail out of your own pocket, you can hire a bail bondsman. You will pay a small fee to them, and they will post bail for you. If you skip down and do not appear at your future hearings, the bondsman will be looking for you.
Request a Hearing with the DMV
After you have posted bail, request a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hearing. Generally, those charged with a DUI have ten days from the date of their arrest to request such a hearing. This hearing will determine if you can keep your driver’s license or not. If no hearing is requested, you can expect that your driver’s license will automatically be suspended.
Prepare for Your Arraignment with Your Attorney
Finally, prepare for your arraignment. An arraignment is the part of your trial in which you will enter a formal plea for the charges against you. You should never simply plead guilty. It is possible to fight DUI charges and win your case. To do so, however, you need legal counsel who is well-versed in helping clients with DUI charges. By pleading not guilty, you will qualify for a jury trial. At this trial, your DUI attorney can prove that you were not driving while under the influence of alcohol or other substances or that your case is meritless based on other matters.
Depending on the results of your trial or if you accept a plea deal as advised by your attorney, the next steps can vary. You may need to pay fines or restitution. If your driver’s license is suspended, you will need to take the following steps in Tennessee to get it back:
- Enroll in and complete a drug and alcohol treatment program
- Show proof of car insurance with an SR-22
- Pay Tennessee Department of Safety fees
- Provide driver’s license application fees
- Pass driver’s license testing
Wondering what to do following a DUI charge? We Can Help.
If you are wondering what to do following a DUI charge, you have come to the right place. Having a DUI charge is stressful and time-consuming. You need someone on your side to guide you through this process, ensuring that you take the right steps at the right time to win your case or reduce your charges.
Before consulting with a seasoned DUI attorney from our firm, there are not man steps you should take alone, but be sure to submit to the BAC test. Reach out to an attorney who specializes in DUI defense as soon as possible. They can advise you on what your next appropriate steps are while protecting the integrity of your case.
Call the Barnes Law Firm at 865-805-5703 to schedule your consultation today, or you can use their online contact form. We can also schedule a video consultation if it is more convenient for your situation.