The holiday season is a time for celebration, and with Thanksgiving, December, and New Year’s on the way, many are preparing for get-togethers and events where alcohol will be present. Because local law enforcement agencies know the risks associated with these types of celebrations – and often increase DUI enforcement efforts during the holiday season – the number of DUI arrests increase dramatically during November and December.
At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, our Ventura DUI lawyers know all too well that local residents frequently get arrested and charged with a DUI offense during the holiday season. Just because you or a loved one have been charged, however, does not mean that you are guilty, or that you should automatically plead as such. There are a number of things that may be involved in your case – including the overzealousness of officers looking to boost arrest numbers during the holidays – that can help you protect your rights, freedom, and future when waging a defense.
If you’re facing DUI allegations during these following weeks, or have a loved one who has been charged, our team is available to provide the experienced defense you need – whether the underlying charge is a first-time DUI, a multiple offense, or even a felony DUI. We also represent clients during DMV hearings to protect their driving privileges! While we’re readily available to help, there are a few things you can do to take the right steps:
- Request a DMV hearing immediately – This must be done within 10 days of your arrest. Failure to complete this step in the required amount of time can lead to an automatic license suspension, and no opportunity to defend your driving privileges.
- Know the penalties at stake – If this is a first-time DUI, be aware that you face a number of short- and long-term penalties that can affect your driving license, financial wellbeing, and your future. Should aggravating circumstances be involved – such as a high BAC, child passenger, accident, or prior convictions – you must also understand that charges and penalties can be elevated. Know the penalties you face, as they can help you understand the importance of proven representation.
- Obtain a copy of your police report – If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, your police report will be available during your first court date. However, you can ask the DMV to send the police report to you 10 days before the requested hearing.
- Understand your rights – As a criminal defendant, you have rights. This includes your right to be treated innocent until proven guilty, the right to challenge the government’s version of facts, and the right to have a lawyer when waging your defense. Exercise your rights!
- Find and retain an aggressive lawyer – Although you can choose to represent yourself or request services from a public defender, an experienced DUI defense attorney can dedicate their time to your case and determine which strategies will work best to safeguard your future. Private lawyers have more time and resources to devote to your case than a public defender, who are notoriously overburdened, underfunded, and often inexperienced.
Taking the right steps to handle your DUI arrest can begin with reaching out to proven defense attorneys like those at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP. Call (800) 495-1054 to discuss your case during a free consultation!