What to Do if You Get a DUI While Out of Town
Dealing with a DUI is stressful enough, but being arrested while out of town can be overwhelming. The decisions you make soon after can be critical to your freedom, finances, and future. However, although it is a serious matter, it is not impossible to deal with. Here are the steps to take.
Don’t Talk to the Police
There is nothing you can say to change an officer’s mind once they have decided to arrest you for DUI. Plus, anything you say can be used against you in court. As a result, it is best to wait until you speak to a DUI defense attorney.
Refusing the Breathalyzer
Whether you can legally refuse the breathalyzer test depends on the state you are in. By refusing, the case for your DUI arrest will be based on the officer’s opinion rather than the breathalyzer results. As a result, it can be easier to discredit an officer’s opinion over blaming a faulty breathalyzer test. However, refusing it may automatically result in penalties, such as a license suspension, fines, and having to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle.
Contact a DUI Defense Lawyer
It is critical to contact an experienced DUI Defense Attorney as soon as possible after you are arrested. If law enforcement officers begin asking you questions about your drinking or details of the DUI, politely tell them that you would like a lawyer present.
Get Bailed Out
After you are arrested, you will normally have to stay in jail until someone bails you out or a judge releases you on your “own recognizance” at your arraignment. It can be an expensive process, but it will still cost less than paying the entire bail amount to the court.
Vacation logistics after a DUI can be challenging to figure out, since you may have to change your plans depending on when you must appear in court. Hiring an out of state criminal defense attorney located where your DUI occurred may allow you to return home while the charges are pending. However, you will likely have to travel back for certain steps in your case, but you may be permitted to use video conferencing for hearings.
Request a DMV Hearing
If you have already hired a defense attorney, they will handle every aspect of your case, including requesting a DMV hearing. However, if you have not hired representation, you have a limited amount of time to formally request a DMV hearing. In many states, it is 10 days after a DUI, including holidays and weekends. At the DMV hearing, it will be determined whether you can keep your driver’s license. If you miss the window to request the hearing, your license will be automatically suspended. For more information, you can visit the Colorado DMV website.
Plead Not Guilty
At your first court appearance (arraignment), you will have a chance to plead guilty or not guilty. Your attorney will advise you on the best way to proceed. The outcome of your DUI case will become the deciding factor in whether you lose your license at home or face jail time. If the court does convict you or a plea bargain results in jail time or DWI school, your attorney may be able to arrange for you to serve your sentence or attend DWI school near your home.
Arrested for DUI?
If you were arrested for a DUI in the Colorado mountains area, contact J.B. Katz, P.C. We offer free consultations to discuss your legal options. Call or text (970) 453-5533 or send us a message online today.