People make mistakes that can impact them for years when it comes to career and educational opportunities. The last thing that you want to do is panic and immediately accept a plea deal or admit guilt. If you are being arrested, the most important thing that you can do is not speak anymore. If you know you are going to be arrested for DUI or another charge, do not speak as it can only incriminate you further. Do not be disrespectful or combative with the officers as this can play a role in whether you are given a plea bargain that reduces your charges to a fine. The following are tips to help you deal with an arrest so your education and career are not impacted.
Hire an Experienced Attorney
You need to look for an experienced criminal defense attorney to help represent you for your case. Spending years in the local court system can allow your attorney to make a deal due to professional rapport they have built with prosecutors. Making a deal is often the best option if the state has sufficient proof of your guilt if it is offered. Ask your attorney about alternative sentences as this could be the route you would like to take.
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Let the Legal Process Play Out Before Telling Employer/School
The legal process needs to play out before you tell your employer. You could have all charges dropped as you might not have done anything wrong. People are falsely arrested or assumed to be the wrong person all of the time. Schools might also presumptively think you are guilty as a arrest report rarely tells the entire story.
Show a Judge Progress By Attending AA/NA or Anger Management Meetings
After you are arrested, you need to show progress before the true court proceedings start. If you were arrested for substance abuse-related charges, entering a program or attending AA/NA meetings is important. Lack of effort to try to make sure this doesn’t happen again will likely not be viewed by a judge favorably. Diversion programs are available in some states where if you complete a program, you can have a charge wiped from your record. Attorneys are aware of these programs and will try to get you admitted/approved if you are a good candidate. Agreeing to rehab is also considered an alternative sentence rather than being incarcerated.
Get Your Record Expunged If Possible Down the Road
Getting arrested can happen but certain charges can be expunged from your record. DUI is not one of these charges for the most part as states like Florida keep it on the record of the driver for 75 years. Talk to a criminal defense attorney about getting charges expunged as this happens quite frequently. You do not want something that happened decades ago to keep you from getting your dream job or being admitted to a Ph.D. program.
Arrests shouldn’t follow you around for life and limit your true potential. People make mistakes so use the tips above to remedy the situation to the best of your ability.