June 6, 2023 | DUI
It is overwhelming to face a DUI/OWI (operating a vehicle while intoxicated) charge. That’s especially true if you’re unsure what next steps you should take. If you’ve been charged with a DUI and it is your first offense in Indianapolis, here is a basic step-by-step guide to provide insights into resolving your case and how to best manage the situation.
Contact an Indianapolis DUI Lawyer to Discuss Your Charges and the Next Steps
The initial step to take after you are charged with a first-time DUI in Indianapolis is to contact a lawyer who specializes in DUI cases. Sure, you are reading that bit of advice on a lawyer’s website, so you’ve already given some thought to the necessity of contacting experienced counsel. You made the right decision to find help.
The sooner you are able to speak with a lawyer, the sooner they can begin working on your defense, which is especially important in a DUI case. Oftentimes, eyewitnesses, medical evidence, toxicology evidence, video evidence, and other potential sources of evidence will form the heart of your defense; they may disappear the longer you wait.
An experienced Indianapolis DUI defense attorney can meet with you soon after you are charged to start gathering these items and preparing a plan of action.
Document the Day in Question
The next step is to prepare a timeline for your lawyer about the day in question. You should include the food that you ate and any alcohol you may have consumed. Be as detailed as possible. Include information like the time, who you were with, where you were, and any receipts or other items that can corroborate your food and alcohol consumption.
Do not do this before speaking to a lawyer. You want to make sure that your timeline and any statements about the case are protected by attorney-client confidentiality. So long as you have a lawyer in place and you’re sending this information to your attorney, it will be protected.
A detailed timeline is important because you will need to show your intoxication level at the time that you were actually driving, which can be established with a toxicologist.
For example, let’s say your blood alcohol content was .08% two hours after the time you stopped driving when the officer tested it. A detailed timeline could prove that based on your rate of food and alcohol intake, your blood alcohol content was, in fact, below the legal limit two hours earlier at the time that you were operating the vehicle, providing a defense.
Record Your Medical History
In addition to a detailed timeline, you should consider preparing a summary of your medical history. Prosecutors will often use your performance on roadside exercises – called field sobriety tests – to prove that you were too impaired to safely operate a motor vehicle.
But perhaps you recently had hip surgery, take prescribed medication, or have other conditions that affect your ability to perform these tasks regardless of your level of intoxication. This information will be important to defend the case.
Attend Court Proceedings
After you have hired a criminal defense lawyer and completed the above steps to prepare your case, you will need to mark your calendar for any future court proceedings. Speak with your lawyer about terms like arraignment, advisement, preliminary hearing, and trial so you fully understand your obligations of when and where to appear in court. You should also put in any request for time off from work to ensure that you can attend.
Enroll in Alcohol Education Programs
Finally, you may also want to speak with your attorney about any steps you can take to assist with negotiations of a plea agreement for leniency. It may be a good idea to enroll in outpatient or inpatient alcohol counseling programs. You might want to take a driver improvement class or complete community service. Completing these steps shows that you take the case seriously and you’re committed to safe driving.
An Indianapolis DUI Attorney Will Provide Legal Advice and Representation Throughout Your Case
There is no doubt that being charged with a first-offense DUI in Indianapolis is a daunting experience. But being proactive and taking prompt action by contacting a lawyer, documenting the events of that day, recording your medical history, and taking steps in remediation, can help you navigate the process effectively.
Every case is different. You should speak with an experienced Indianapolis DUI defense lawyer for further information and guidance.
Contact the Indianapolis DUI Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Indianapolis
101 W Ohio St #2000
Indianapolis, In 46204