The holiday season is a time to celebrate. For many people, this means enjoying drinks with friends and family. Christmas is also a time when many people drink to excess—whether intentionally or inadvertently—and data show that the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is one of the busiest weeks for DUI arrests each year.
If you find yourself dealing with a DUI over the Christmas holiday, you need to make sure you are making smart decisions. You cannot ignore your DUI, and when dealing with your DUI, there are both steps you need to take and mistakes you need to avoid. Learn what you need to know from a New Jersey DUI defense lawyer at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.:
What To Do After a Christmas DUI in New Jersey
What should you do if you got a DUI in New Jersey over the Christmas holiday? Here are five steps you should take as soon as possible:
1. Make Sure You Know Your Court Date
When facing a DUI charge in New Jersey, you need to make sure you know your court date. You also need to make sure you show up on time (unless your lawyer advises otherwise). If you don’t, you can be charged with failure to appear, and celebrating the holidays is not an excuse for failing to show up in court.
2. Make Sure You Know if You Are Allowed to Drive
When you got arrested, your driver’s license may or may not have been suspended. If you aren’t sure whether you are allowed to drive, you need to find out before you get behind the wheel. Driving on a suspended license is also a serious offense in New Jersey.
3. Write Down Everything You Can Remember from Your DUI Arrest
The defenses you can use to fight your DUI charge depend on the facts of your case. With this in mind, you should write down everything you can remember from your arrest. When you speak with a New Jersey DUI defense lawyer, it will be important to provide your lawyer with as many details as possible.
4. Learn About What You Have At Stake and the Defenses You May Have Available
To ensure that you are making smart decisions and giving yourself the best chance to fight your DUI charge, you need to know what you have at stake. You also need to have an idea of the defenses you may have available. These articles provide an overview of what you need to know:
- DUI Penalties in New Jersey
- Understanding the Consequences of a Criminal Conviction (or DUI Conviction) in New Jersey
- DUI Defenses in New Jersey
5. Talk to a New Jersey DUI Defense Lawyer
Successfully fighting a drunk driving charge in New Jersey requires experienced legal representation. With this in mind, you should talk to a New Jersey DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. Regardless of the facts of your case, there are several ways an experienced defense lawyer will be able to help.
What Not To Do After a Christmas DUI in New Jersey
Now, what should you not do if you are facing the consequences of a drunk driving arrest? These are just some of the costly mistakes you need to avoid:
1. Do Not Ignore Your DUI
Even though it’s the holiday season, you cannot ignore your DUI. Your charge isn’t going to go away, and the court isn’t going to wait until the holiday season is over. When facing a DUI charge, ignoring it is one of the biggest mistakes you can possibly make. You need to deal with your situation—and if you hire an experienced defense lawyer to represent you, you will be glad you did when it is all said and done.
2. Do Not Assume the Judge Will Go Easy On You Because It’s Christmas
The judge isn’t going to go easy on you because it’s Christmas. Simply put, the judge doesn’t care. A DUI is a DUI regardless of the time of year, and the judge expects you to show up even if your court date conflicts with your holiday travel plans.
3. Do Not Assume You Know What Will Happen in Court
Regardless of the facts of your case, you should not assume that you know what will happen in court. Innocent people get convicted, and there are ways to fight your DUI charge, even if you were driving drunk.
4. Do Not Rely on Inaccurate Information About New Jersey DUIs
Unfortunately, there is a lot of inaccurate information online. New Jersey’s laws are unique, and, as a result, information that is true in other states isn’t always true in New Jersey. When facing a DUI charge, you cannot afford to rely on inaccurate information. For example:
- Negotiating a plea deal with the prosecutor’s office is not a possibility when you are facing a DUI charge in New Jersey.
- Unlike many other states, New Jersey does not have a diversion or pre-trial intervention program for first-time (or repeat) DUI offenders.
- Unlike many other states, New Jersey does not allow for the expungement of DUI charges—so a conviction will remain on your record indefinitely.
5. Do Not Try to Handle Your DUI Case on Your Own
When facing a DUI charge, you also cannot afford to try to handle your case on your own. Fighting a DUI charge isn’t easy. It requires in-depth knowledge of the law, and this means that it requires experienced legal representation.
Speak with a New Jersey DUI Defense Lawyer at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.
Do you need to know more about how to deal with a DUI over the Christmas holiday season? If so, we invite you to contact us for a confidential consultation. To speak with a New Jersey DUI defense lawyer in confidence as soon as possible, call 877-435-6371 or tell us how we can reach you online now.