DUI charge

Facing a DUI charge can feel like your life is over. You might be feeling shame or embarrassment. You may be angry with yourself that you’ve jeopardized your life in this way.

A DUI charge, though, is not the end of the world, nor your life, for that matter. You can move forward from it, and in time, you can put it behind you. However, it’s going to take hard work and a genuine desire to change.

Let’s talk about how to move forward with a DUI looming over your head.

First, Find an Excellent Lawyer to Represent You

Florida’s Meldon Law Firm mentions “how frightening it can be when dealing with a traumatic event, such as an accident or criminal accusation.” That is the sort of attitude you want from the lawyer you hire.

You may have caused an accident because of impairment, but that doesn’t mean:
  • That you’re a bad person
  • That you aren’t genuinely repentant
  • You don’t have the capacity for change
  • That you don’t have the desire to make amends for what happened
You made a mistake in getting behind the wheel while impaired, but you can’t let that define you. You want a lawyer who understands your rights and can fight for you. You also usually want someone who can speak on your behalf to other accident victims, rather than you communicating with them directly.

Find Out What Charges You’re Facing

In the DUI aftermath, you might face a litany of obstacles. Those might include:
  • Damages if you hit another person or vehicle
  • Damages from hitting inanimate objects, like telephone poles, storefronts, mailboxes, etc.
  • Other charges stemming from the event, like speeding or reckless endangerment
Again, having an exceptional DUI lawyer on your side is vital, since they can explain in simple language the charges you face and the options you have. You may have to liquidate some assets to cover your debts. You may also have your wages garnished going forward to pay for the damages.

You Might Be Facing Jail Time

Jail time is a possibility in some DUI cases. Obviously, that’s something you want to avoid if you can. That means agreeing to a plea deal if there is one on offer.

Talk to your lawyer about what your best option is. If you unintentionally killed someone while drunk driving, then you’re likely looking at a manslaughter charge. That’s probably going to mean jail time, but you can reduce it if you agree to a plea deal.

If you’re lucky, you might get a suspended sentence and pay a hefty fine. That’s more realistic if you hurt someone or multiple people, but you did not kill any of them. The severity of what took place is going to have a significant impact on what charges you face and what your path forward is.

You’re Likely Looking at Alcohol Treatment and Counseling

Regardless of whether you end up in jail for what happened, or what kind of fines you have to pay, you’re almost certainly going to have to submit to counseling and alcohol treatment. AA helps high functioning alcoholics and problem drinkers. However, some people don’t like AA because of their philosophy’s religious element.

There are other programs that you can look into if you don’t want to use AA. The real issue is getting yourself the help you need.

Don’t be resentful that you’re in counseling. You made a severe mistake in driving drunk, and you need to do everything you can to make sure that you never do it again. The time you spend getting well makes it more likely you won’t find yourself back in this position months or years down the line.

You Might Get Your License Suspended

Getting your license suspended, or even revoked, is also on the table after a DUI. The police and the courts take this sort of thing seriously, as well they should.

Even if you avoided jail time, you might not be able to drive for the foreseeable future. That means you might rely on relatives or friends for rides to and from work, the grocery store, etc. You may also have to use public transportation, like buses or trains.

While getting a DUI is not your life’s end, it is a strong sign that you need to make some changes. Even if you didn’t kill or injure anyone, you easily could have. You need to commit to making better choices going forward.