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4 Things to Do Immediately If You Are Charged With a DUI

May 28, 2024

Being charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) in Philadelphia can be an overwhelming and frightening experience. It’s crucial to act quickly and make informed decisions to protect your rights and build a strong defense. Here are four essential steps you should take immediately if you find yourself facing a DUI charge.

1. Remain Calm and Cooperative

Stay Composed

The most crucial step you can take after being charged with a DUI is to remain calm. It's essential to stay composed despite the stress and anxiety you may be feeling. Your behavior during this time can significantly impact your case.

Cooperate with Law Enforcement

While it’s important to cooperate with law enforcement, remember that you have rights. Provide your identification, registration, and proof of insurance when requested. Avoid making any statements or answering questions about your consumption of alcohol or drugs. Politely inform the officer that you wish to speak with an attorney before answering any questions.

Document the Incident

If possible, make mental notes or write down details of the encounter as soon as you can. Note the time, location, officer’s name and badge number, and any interactions or statements made by law enforcement. This information can be invaluable for your defense later on.

2. Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Immediately

Seek Legal Representation

Contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately after being charged with a DUI is vital. DUI laws in Pennsylvania are complex, and having a knowledgeable attorney by your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

Choose the Right Attorney

Look for an attorney with a strong track record in handling DUI cases. Van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim have extensive experience in criminal defense and can provide you with the guidance and representation you need. Our attorneys understand the intricacies of Pennsylvania DUI laws and will work diligently to protect your rights and build a robust defense.

Schedule a Consultation

Contact our firm immediately to schedule a consultation. During this initial meeting, we will review the details of your case, discuss your options, and begin formulating a defense strategy tailored to your specific circumstances.

3. Understand the Charges and Potential Consequences

Know the Legal Implications

It’s essential to understand the charges you are facing and the potential consequences of a DUI conviction. In Pennsylvania, DUI penalties can be severe and may include fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs, and even jail time.

Review the Evidence

Work with your attorney to review all the evidence against you, including police reports, breathalyzer results, and any field sobriety test results. Your attorney will evaluate the validity of this evidence and identify any weaknesses or inconsistencies that can be used to challenge the prosecution’s case.

Understand Your Rights

Your attorney will explain your rights and the legal process ahead. They will ensure you are fully informed about your options and help you make decisions that are in your best interest. This includes understanding plea deals, potential defenses, and the likelihood of various outcomes.

4. Prepare for Court Appearances

Follow Legal Procedures

It’s vital to comply with all legal procedures and court requirements. Missing a court appearance can result in additional charges and complicate your case further. Your attorney will guide you through the process, ensuring you are prepared for each step.

Gather Supporting Documentation

Work with your attorney to gather any supporting documentation that may be beneficial to your defense. This could include medical records, witness statements, or evidence of any procedural errors made during your arrest.

Dress Appropriately and Be Punctual

First impressions matter in court. Dress professionally and arrive on time for all court appearances. Showing respect for the court can positively influence the perception of your character and seriousness about addressing the charges.

Stay Informed and Engaged

Maintain regular communication with your attorney and stay informed about the progress of your case. Engage actively in your defense, providing any information or assistance your attorney requests.

Contact van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim Today For a Free Consultation to Discuss Your DUI Defense

Facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania can be daunting, but taking these four steps can significantly impact the outcome of your case. By remaining calm and cooperative, contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney, understanding the charges and potential consequences, and preparing diligently for court appearances, you can protect your rights and work towards the best possible outcome.

At van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, we are dedicated to providing exceptional legal representation and support for individuals charged with DUI. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and begin building your defense. Your future and freedom are too important to leave to chance.


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