If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Fairfax, the following is what you should know about managing the damage of your charge and ensuring that you don’t do anything to make it worse. Call and schedule a consultation with a Fairfax DUI lawyer today to learn more.
After being charged with DUI, the first thing you should do is get an attorney. The earlier you retain an attorney in the case, the better the attorney can help you out and the more evidence is available for your possible defense. So discussing the case with an attorney as soon as possible is important as is not speaking with anyone else other than an attorney about the case because anything you say to these people can be used against you. An attorney would definitely not recommend calling the police and trying to explain yourself or anything along those lines.
Other than that, the next thing you should try to do is preserve any evidence you may have of your innocence or lack of guilt. For example, if you have witnesses, you should try to take their contact information down, and jot down a few words about what they remember. An attorney would also recommend writing down your recollection of events as soon as possible after the DUI so you have a strong memory of what occurred and in what order.
Other than that, it’s basically a matter of working with your attorney to help put together any evidence or witnesses that may help the case and starting to build a defense for yourself.
Naturally, your insurance will be a concern after any DUI conviction. Most likely, your provider will raise your rates. It’s also possible that a provider will deny coverage at some point if they’re particularly concerned. But at the very least, you can probably count on your rates going up.
As an attorney we cannot tell anyone not to speak with their insurance provider, however if you do choose to tell them you should be careful not to make any admissions or statements that could then be used against you in court. There’s no requirement that you talk to your insurance provider; they can’t force you to talk with them. So it’s ultimately a call that you have to make, but if you do make statements to them, those statements can be called upon later in a trial as an admission of guilt or that you did something wrong.
For this reason it is always a good idea to talk to a lawyer before taking any other steps. Then your attorney can help you decide whether to speak to your insurance provider or not. As a general practice, an attorney won’t say that you can’t or shouldn’t take to someone. But you should be very careful when speaking to insurance providers because any statements you make can be used against you later in court during your DUI trial. No privilege exists between insurer and insured.
An important thing to note is that there’s no magic bullet that can get you out of a DUI charge. Prosecutors take the cases very seriously. Having no prior record, taking an alcohol education class, doing community service, and just being a good person are not necessarily going to get you out of a DUI conviction. There’s very little in the way of damage control that can be done to make prosecutors want to drop the case or break the charges down. So don’t expect miracles just because you took steps for damage control and have demonstrated that you’re taking your charges seriously.