What should I do if I have been arrested for a DUI? 53 Answers as of July 02, 2013

I’ve been arrested for DUI, what should I do to help myself? And can I represent myself?

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
I'd recommend you retain a lawyer to help you or you ask the court for legal counsel.You have a right to counsel. Don't be afraid to exercise that right. These types of charges carry significant penalties that will continue long after after the initial case is over. Further, the testing and other procedures often involve very intricate and complicated scientific procedures.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/21/2012
Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
You can represent yourself but it would be wished to hire an attorney to represent your interests.
Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
Replied: 3/30/2012
Robert Mortland
Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
You should act fast to save your license and speak with an attorney. You must request a hearing with the DMV (APS HEARING) within 10 days from your arrest to save your license.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/26/2012
The Short Law Group, P.C.
The Short Law Group, P.C. | Shawn Kollie
In Oregon a DUI has a maximum penalty of 1 year in custody and a $6,250 fine. These are serious consequences that are always better to have legal counsel to help guide you through. It would always be best to at least sit down and talk with a DUI Lawyer before proceeding pro se.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 3/22/2012
The Law Firm of David Jolly
The Law Firm of David Jolly | David Jolly
If you are arrested for DUI, and have already been processed and released (which sounds like your situation) you must immediately meet with or speak to a Washington State DUI lawyer. If you cannot afford a Washington State DUI lawyer you must still consult with one (or even a few). Washington State DUI laws are complicated and the penalties are severe. Without some knowledge and assistance you are destined to fail. The advantage of consulting with a knowledgeable Washington State DUI lawyer is that you will have time to ask many questions and receive valuable and accurate answers. If you are represented by a public defender, as good as many are, is that they simply do not have the time you need to spend quality time with you. Finally, if you have any hope of improving your case in court, staying out of jail or keeping your license, you must have a Washington State DUI lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 3/19/2012
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber | Michael R. Garber
    You can represent yourself if you want to, but since you don't know what to do that doesn't sound like a good idea. I think you should meet with a lawyer to find out what you should do.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/16/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You can represent yourself however I would advise against it. You stand to lose if you are not properly informed as to certain things about a DUI case. I would advise you to seek out the counsel of an experienced DUI attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 3/16/2012
    McClendon Owens Melia McBreen LLP
    McClendon Owens Melia McBreen LLP | Richard L. McBreen III
    Don't represent yourself. Even a person who is a lawyer should not represent themselves.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/16/2012
    Law Office of Brian K. Wanerman
    Law Office of Brian K. Wanerman | Brian K. Wanerman
    You have a constitutional right to represent yourself. But, I do not recommend it. DUI cases can be very complex. In most, the defendant is facing an uphill battle because of the public's disfavor of drunk driving. You need an attorney to advise you, develop strategy (e.g. attacking evidence, discrediting witnesses), and fight for your rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/15/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    The old expression is that anyone who represents themselves in court has a fool for a client and a fool for an attorney. You should seriously consider hiring an attorney if you intend to contest this matter.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/15/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    First plead not guilty. Second get a good attorney. Can you represent yourself? Sure it is also legal to take out your own appendix with a swiss army knife and no anesthetic, both processes are equally painless.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/15/2012
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    1. Don't agree to take the field sobriety tests, including the hand held alco-sensor. 2. Don't talk about where you have been or how much you have had to drink. 3. Call a lawyer as soon as you get out of jail.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/15/2012
    Cody W. Gibson, Attorney at Law, PLLC
    Cody W. Gibson, Attorney at Law, PLLC | Cody W. Gibson
    For a DUI arrest an attorney should be consulted as soon as you can, because a DUI is different from a number of misdemeanors as it can permanently affect your driving record and can never be expunged.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 3/15/2012
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    You should consult with an experienced certified criminal law specialist about all aspects of your case before you decide what to do.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/15/2012
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    You have the right to represent yourself, but it is not advisable. The best thing you can do for yourself now is to hire a DUI attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/15/2012
    DeVito & Visconti, PA
    DeVito & Visconti, PA | John E DeVito
    A person who represents himself has a fool for a client.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/2/2013
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    You can either represent yourself (cheaper) or help yourself but you cannot help yourself by representing yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    A DUI can have serious consequences. It is usually inadvisable to represent yourself although it is your right.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    You can represent yourself, but if you do, you stand a good chance of being banged with a stiffer sentence than if represented by competent counsel. What you should do to protect yourself is retain a good lawyer, he can get the discovery from the prosecutor and find out how strong the case is against you, and determine which way to dispose of the case in your best interests.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/2/2013
    Law Office of James E. Smith
    Law Office of James E. Smith | James Smith
    You have the right to represent yourself, but you should get a lawyer if possible.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    No.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    If charged in a criminal matter the first thing to do is not to talk with anyone about the facts of the incident. This includes the time right after contact with the police. Next you need to hire an attorney. Going to court without an attorney is like bringing a knife to a gun fight.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    You can always represent yourself, but the saying goes- "He who represents himself has a fool for a client". You really should retain an attorney- even if the charge cannot be reduced or dismissed, you have a better chance of getting a better "deal" in a plea agreement than if you represent yourself and an attorney can look for problems with the arrest and the evidence against you that you are unlikely to recognize.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Hynum Law Office, LLC
    Hynum Law Office, LLC | G. Wayne Hynum
    My advice would be to hire a good attorney. Technically you have the right to represent yourself but that is not a good idea. If you are not a lawyer it is not likely that you will know what the laws are in regard to DUI, or the Court procedures that have to be followed.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    Do not represent yourself. You need to hire and experienced DWI attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    Yes you can represent yourself if the decision is made knowingly and intelligentlywhich will require the court/judge to engage in a colloquy with you. DUI convictions have serious ramifications so self-representation is not something I would advise.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Hire an attorney. You are a fool to try an represent yourself in a DUI case. These cases are extremely complex and the penalties if convicted are very substantial.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You should retain my office or a good criminal lawyer to handle the case. This is a serious charge that could hurt your chances of getting a job for the rest of your life. A good criminal lawyer may be able to get the case reduced to a violation of DWUI which is not a crime.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You have only 10 days to save your driver's license. If you would like to have a DUI on your record and lose your license, then please go ahead and represent yourself. Otherwise you need to consult with a DUI specialist so at least you have a fighting chance. Remember the old proverb: "he who represents himself has a fool for a client."
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    The Law Offices of Harold L. Wallin | Harold L. Wallin
    If you want to help yourself, get the best DUI attorney you can. Someone who is knowledgeable about DUI law. DUI law is very complicated.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    T.K. Byrne | Timothy K. Byrne
    Provide your driver's license if requested and remain silent. You are not going to explain your way out of this situation.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    You are always entitled to represent yourself in court. Whether you should is a different issue. The conventional wisdom is that an attorney will be able to do a better job and get a better outcome. Prosecutors and judges dont like dealing with ProPers, unless you are simply pleading guilty, not defending the case. Of course you can fight the charges. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or confession be used against you, can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all appropriate defenses with whatever witnesses, evidence and sympathies are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or for trial. If you don't know how to represent yourself effectively against an experienced prosecutor intending to convict, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion program, charge reduction, or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. A little free advice: When arrested for DUI, whether alcohol or drugs, then upon release from jail or booking the defendant is given documents that include a notice that you have only ten days to file a request with DMV for a hearing on an appeal of an automatic suspension of your license imposed by DMV. That is separate and runs consecutively with any suspension that may be imposed by the court. Contact DMV and do so, timely, then appear at your scheduled DMV appeal hearing and present any supporting evidence and testimony. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    The Gorman Law Firm | Scott Gorman
    I would strongly recommend that you contact an attorney who devotes a significant proportion of his or her practice to DUI defense.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Ellman and Ellman PC
    Ellman and Ellman PC | Kevin Ellmann
    You only have 7 days to request a DMV hearing if you were issued a notice of revocation. Beyond that, I would suggest that you consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney (preferably one who offers free consultations). Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Hire a DUI defense lawyer. No, you really can't represent yourself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    Yes, you can represent yourself, but it's not a very good idea. Your best bet is to talk to an experienced DUI lawyer and see if he can help you.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Offices of Brian J. Lockwood
    Law Offices of Brian J. Lockwood | Brian J. Lockwoood
    There is an old saying that a person who acts as his/her own attorney has a fool for a client. Most people have the statutory and constitutional right to represent themselves. The wisdom of exercising that right is dubious at best. I recommend at least speaking with a qualified DUI defense attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Furlong & Drewniak PLLC
    Furlong & Drewniak PLLC | Thaddeus Furlong, Esq.
    You should say as little as possible. DO NOT say what you had to drink, DO NOT say when your last drink was consumed. DO NOT take any tests on the side of the road (you will likely NEVER pass them). DO NOT blow into the PBT (portable breath tester) offered on the side of the road. DO NOT admit to having anything to drink. DO NOT respond to crafty police questions like ,"I can smell it do admit it?" Just STAY SILENT. If pushed, say your lawyer advised you to be cooperative but silent. You are only required to provide ID and blow at the station on a calibrated breathalyzer. Everything else is optional and likely be used against you. DO NOT do any field tests like finger to nose, one legged stand, etc. You start down that road of testing and you are likely going to jail. As a former police officer I made notes of each test to be used against the suspect. Can you talk to a lawyer before being arrested? No. So keep this answer handy.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Glass Defense Firm
    Glass Defense Firm | Jason M. Glass
    Whatever you do, do not represent yourself. We all have heard the old adage, he who represents himself has a fool for a client. Do yourself a favor and speak with a qualified DUI defense attorney immediately.
    Answer Applies to: West Virginia
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A.
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A. | Donald L. Blaszka, Jr.
    I suggest meeting with an experienced NH DWI attorney to represent you in your DWI case. You can represent yourself if you wish.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Goodgame Law, LLC
    Goodgame Law, LLC | Jeffrey L Goodgame
    You should definitely retain a DUI attorney to represent you. A first DUI conviction can result in serious consequences including a fine up to $2,100, up to a 1 year jail sentence, and suspension of your driver's license for 90 days. A DUI conviction is also listed as a misdemeanor crime on your record. An experienced DUI attorney can challenge the prosecutor's case in several ways.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    First, you only have 10 days to contact the DMV and request a hearing or they will automatically suspend your license. Can you represent yourself? Absolutely. Is it a good idea? Absolutely not. You're going against the DMV hearing officer who will not give you any breaks and you won't know what legal issues there may be in your case. Same thing in court when they file charges against you. You're going against a prosecutor - an attorney whose job it is to convict you. Do you know the rules of evidence? Criminal procedure? Can you file a motion to suppress the evidence against you? Unless your answers were unhesitatingly "yes", you need a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of William L Spern | William Spern
    Get an attorney NOW. Say nothing to anyone but your attorney. Yes you can represent yourself but remember that a person that represents himself has a fool for a client!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo | Matthew Murillo
    You can represent yourself, but I strongly suggest you don't. You should do yourself a favor and at least consult with various local attorneys to see what they can do. DUI are extremely complex and are much more than just what a test said your BAC was. Representing yourself means you are risking an improper investigation and defense. Especially because there are various, technical, scientific and constitutional defenses that may be used. Your best course of action is to contact an attorney immediately, as you only have 10 days from the date of arrest, to request a DMV hearing. If one is not requested, you risk automatic suspension of your driving privilege.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Patrick E. Donovan, PLLC
    Law Office of Patrick E. Donovan, PLLC | Patrick E. Donovan
    Yes you can represent yourself. I don't recommend it. The State might be willing to waive your ALS suspension of 180 days of you accept a plea to a DWI, but you should at the least talk to a competent DWI attorney and find out if your case is worth defending.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    You can represent yourself on a DUI, but you should have some basic understanding of the law. The quality of the representation will also depend on the facts and circumstance of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    The Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache
    The Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache | Stephanie Arrache
    It is never wise to represent yourself. You should talk to a lawyer, whether it is private counsel or public defender.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Lykins Law | Gerald Lykins
    Hire a competent OWI Attorney in your area. Google DUI Attorney with you location. Look for an Attorney will at least 10 years of experience. Good Luck!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    A LAWYER who represents himself has a fool for a client, and a citizen who represents himself without at least consulting an attorney is displaying even less intelligence. You life, your risk.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    As Lincoln once said, a person representing themselves has a fool for a client. Don't make the mistake of doing this. Your freedom is at stake and why risk that? Get the best lawyer you can afford.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    You can represent yourself but I recommend you consult with an attorney to discuss the facts of your particular situation.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 3/14/2012
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