Being Proactive About a Florida DUI Charge
If you are facing a DUI charge, you know all too well how stressful and frightening it can be to wait for your next court date or for your trial to begin. You may feel helpless, as though you have lost control of your future. While you may have to face some penalties as a result of your arrest, there are things you can do to be proactive about your pending case. Taking a few steps now will not only help ease the stress and tension, but will also bode well for you in court and could help minimize the penalties you are facing.
Pre-Trial Assessments and Classes: Going the Extra Mile
Now is the time to have an alcohol and drug assessment completed. Doing so will serve several purposes. First, it will demonstrate to the court that you take the charge against you seriously. Secondly, if there is an underlying drug or alcohol problem, you will be ahead of the game in seeking treatment to get healthy. Finally, a DUI charge carries with it a tremendous amount of stigma. Friends, family and even your boss or co-workers may think that you have an alcohol or substance abuse problem. By having an assessment done, you can either dispel this notion with a clean bill of health or take a proactive stance in seeking treatment to get well.
Similarly, go ahead and attend a DUI School. Attendance will likely be part of a sentence if you are found or plead guilty to your charge, so taking care of this in advance of your trial will save you from having to attend post-trial. Your attendance at DUI School demonstrates to the State that you take your charge seriously. Your attorney may be able to use your successful completion of DUI School to your advantage when negotiating on your behalf.
Performing community service hours in advance of your trial is another way to be proactive about your case. Doing so in advance of your trial may mitigate any fees associated with probation supervision that may come along with being sentenced to community service. Further, by choosing the type of work you would like to be engaged in, you may derive more satisfaction from your time. Time spent serving and helping others has an additional fringe benefit: it will give you an opportunity to take your mind off of your DUI charge and focus on helping others.
Take Care of Your Business
There are a few administrative things you should take care of in advance of your trial to make things easier on yourself. One important step is ensuring that your driving history is as clean as possible. Be sure to disclose all previous driving infractions to your attorney and take the necessary steps to pay any fines or have those matters resolved before your DUI case heads to court. Doing so decreases the likelihood that those matters will be taken into account during your DUI proceedings.
A DUI is costly, regardless of whether you win or lose your case. Legal fees, bonds to get out of jail and any fees associated with reinstating your license while you await trial all add up. It is possible that you may be required to miss days of work to attend legal proceedings related to your case. Help minimize the financial shock of a DUI by saving as much money as possible and exploring other financial options that may be available to you, such as taking out a loan or even liquidating assets. It is also important to save up as much vacation time and paid leave from your job as possible so that days spent in court will not result in unpaid time away from the office.