Thousands of people are arrested for DUI every year in the US. While this isn't the most positive news, it is important to remember if someone you care about has been arrested for driving under the influence, many have been in your shoes before. Many times when someone is arrested for driving under the influence as a first offender, this is their first time ever being involved in the criminal justice system. This can be a scary experience, not only for those who have been arrested, but also their loved ones. Getting a phone call at midnight with the news that your husband (or wife, partner, son, daughter, etc) has been arrested is not something anyone wants to experience.
I have worked with hundreds of folks who have been arrested for DUI. Sometimes a DUI arrest is just the result of an unfortunate mistake. However, sometimes a DUI arrest can be a signal that there is a deeper issue. If someone you care about has recently been arrested for driving under the influence, it is important to examine the circumstances. You know this person better than most everyone else- was this a one-time error in judgement or evidence of a much more serious issue, such as dependency on alcohol or drugs?
If you are concerned that addiction may be an issue, there are many local treatment programs, which can vary from intensive inpatient programs to outpatient programs to weekly group meetings. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) operates a free treatment referral telephone service which can be reached by calling 1 (800) 622-HELP (4357).
Dealing with a DUI conviction can be stressful- if someone you rely on to do daily household tasks loses their driving privileges, it can mean a serious headache for the entire family. When driving privileges are lost in addition to court-mandated fees, this can have a severe economic impact on a family. However, it is important to remember that you have options. Your attorney can help with the application for a limited driving permit, which allows a person gain limited driving privileges to attend school, work and/or medical appointments. Also, there are ways to set up a payment plan with the court system in order to avoid an economic burden due to fines and fees.
An Arrest Does Not Guarantee Conviction
It's important to keep in mind that just because you or someone you love has been arrested, this does not mean that they will be dealing with a DUI conviction on their record for the rest of their life. No matter what the circumstances of the arrest were, there are many different rules and regulations which may have been missed and could present a great opportunity for a legal challenge. Additionally, there may be opportunities for plea bargaining for lesser charges. If someone you care about has been charged with driving under the influence, give us a call. We can talk about the details of your case and develop our legal strategy that includes not only getting the best possible outcome on the charges, but also minimizes the overall effect the arrest has on your life.