Driving under the influence can have long-term consequences, including impacting your ability to obtain employment. To potentially lessen the offense and punishment, there are some steps you need to take before your hearing. If you can show the judge that you are committed to making a change for the better, he or she might show some leniency towards you.
Attend Alcohol Treatment
One of the ways you can show that you are focused on preventing another DUI is to undergo an evaluation for alcohol abuse and seek treatment, if necessary. It is likely that the judge might order you to go to treatment, but waiting until then will not have the same impact as if you went now on your own.
By taking the initiative to get treatment before the hearing, you can possibly impress the judge. Your treatment counselor can write a statement on your behalf detailing your progress and commitment. You might even be able to convince the prosecutor to lower the charge by going through treatment.
Going through treatment can also help you to recognize patterns that lead to alcohol abuse and learn how to cope with situations that would normally lead to drinking.
Take Care of Traffic Citations
Before you walk into the courtroom with your DUI attorney, you need to take care of any traffic citations that are outstanding. There are a couple of reasons to do this.
First, taking care of the citations could show to the judge you are trying to take more responsibility for your actions. The prosecutor might also be more willing to negotiate a lesser offense if you do not have outstanding citations.
Second, getting rid of the citations can help prevent those from becoming warrants. If you do show up to court with the warrants, you could still end up being taken into custody due to the traffic citations.
Do Not Drive
Logically, you know not to drive if your license has been suspended due to the DUI, but there are still some people who take the risk. Getting pulled over becomes even more complex when you factor in a suspended license and pending DUI charge.
Even if you are only stopped for failing to signal, your behavior could be seen as disrespectful of the law. The judge could believe that by continuing to drive, you proved you would not follow the laws and deserved to have a harsher sentence.
Talk to your attorney about other ways you can improve the odds of a lighter charge or sentence in court.