Write It Down:
In my experience, DUI cases are typically won and lost in the minutia of the details. So it is imperative to write down everything you remember from not only the DUI stop itself but also from before and after the stop no matter how insignificant it may seem. It is far better to provide your attorney with more information than not enough and risk missing that one critical game-changing detail. One of the first things I tell all my clients even before they come for their consultation is to create a journal of the event. Starting with the day prior and going through the following day (in essence a 72-hour block of time where you put down everything that occurred) I even direct them to my website where they can download a questionnaire that helps with this process. The reason for this is our memories fade over time, and important details that could be critical in winning your case could be lost. Also, understanding that the emotional disruption of being arrested also affects our memory. At M. Reid Legal Solutions, I give my clients a 47-page questionnaire to help jog their memory but here are some questions to start the process:
- When were you stopped?
- What reason did the officer give for stopping you if any?
- Did the officer ask or tell you to step out of the car and why?
- Did you do a Field Sobriety Test?
- Did the officer ask or tell you to do these test
- Was a breath test administered?
- If so, was this on the road or at the station?
- Did you ask for a lawyer?
- When did you start drinking?
- When did you stop drinking?
- Who did you speak with the 3 hours before you were stopped?
- Did you pay with cash? charge?
- Who was your server?
- Was anyone with you when you were stopped?
- Did you take any medications that day?
- Were other people at the station when you arrived?
- What was the weather like?
Take some time to write down everything you can remember. You will be grateful later that you did.
Shut Down Social Media:
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the story of the DWI client bitten by this simple mistake. The bane of Social Media is once something is out there it is forever out there and that cute picture of you toasted at the party may be used by a prosecuting attorney at your trial. Remember the phrase “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law?” In this era of social- media anything you post/share online can be potentially used against you. It is a simple matter for a prosecutor to type in your name on sites like Facebook and download any incriminating photos or posts you may have done. We at M. Reid Legal Solutions check for this type of ‘evidence’ with you and make suggestions but our general rule is if you have been charged with a crime simply SHUT DOWN your social network. It is not worth the risk. DWIs are difficult enough; don’t give the State any more ammunition than they already have.
Find Any Potential Witnesses:
Talk to everyone you remember being around on the day of the event. This includes family, friends, hospitality staff, the bartender, the person at the QT, everyone. All of these people are potential witnesses that can help your case. AND THEY KNOW YOU BETTER THAN THE COP. Did you appear drunk? How many drinks had you had? Over what period of time did they observe you? What did you have to eat? Get receipts; they can help establish a timeline, especially if you paid for your drinks with a credit card.
Get to an Attorney:
The last but most important step is to get to your attorney! Time is wasting and is not your friend. None of this work will amount to anything if you don’t get it to an experienced DUI attorney who can use it to help you.