What To Do After An OWI
If you have been pulled over and charged with an OWI (operating while intoxicated), then you need to take steps to prepare your defense. Here are some steps you can take to help defend against the charges.
You Have The Right To Remain Silent
First, as with any criminal charge, you have an absolute right to remain silent in order to avoid making any incriminating statements against yourself. By the time you are reading this, it may be too late. However, if you are in a situation where you need to give a statement, be sure to contact a lawyer before you speak with anyone.
Take Notes, Gather Information
For your own personal recollection, take notes about what occurred before, during and after the event in question. Memory can fail us later and these details may be critical to your defense. You may also want to take pictures of any relevant scene, vehicle or location. If there are witnesses that can help provide information or testimony, it may be important to include their contact information. Be sure to give all of this information to your attorney.
Meet With An Attorney Right Away
There are many reasons to meet with an OWI/DUI lawyer immediately after you have been charged on suspicion of OWI/DUI. In addition to the right against self-incrimination, there are other important considerations. There is a civil administrative proceeding for driver’s license revocation with separate timelines.
In addition, the sooner after the event, the better prepared your lawyer can be for any subsequent court appearances. An attorney can learn more about the evidence against you — such as the Breathalyzer, field sobriety tests, the circumstances of your DUI arrest, search and seizure issues — in order to develop legal defenses. Your attorney may advise you against making incriminating statements on social media and advise you on steps to take before your criminal proceeding continues — steps that may mitigate your consequences.