The holiday season has just ended, and you probably have a lot of fond memories from the past few months to reminisce about. Spending time with family and friends, exchanging presents, eating amazing food – the holidays are a great way to forget about the cold weather and spend time with loved ones. However, the holiday season may have left you with one memory you’d rather forget.

During the holidays, police officers are more inclined to look for drivers on the road who are under the influence. If you got a DUI over the holidays, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone! Police focus on driving behavior and will pull you over more quickly than during a regular day. Maybe you just had a glass or two of wine or a few bottles of beer. But, if you face a DUI, you have to take this charge seriously. You can still start the New Year off right by taking these steps to move on from your DUI.

1. Don’t Panic – Build Your Defense

Remember that in this situation, you are innocent until proven guilty. Now is the time to defend your case. You can do this by gathering evidence about the circumstances of your arrest. For example, consider other factors that may have led to your DUI that had nothing to do with drugs or alcohol. Do you usually wear glasses when you drive, but left them at home on the night of your arrest? Were the roads icy on the night of your arrest? Were the standardized field sobriety tests that you were asked to perform conducted in an improper manner? All of these factors could be used in your defense.

2. Consult a Professional

One of the best things that you can do to build a strong defense for your case is to hire a DUI attorney. DUI attorneys have the experience and knowledge that you need to build the best defense possible. They know the right questions to ask, the right evidence to gather, and the right way to present the facts in court. If you are not ready to hire yet, you can still meet with a DUI lawyer during a free initial consultation to get more information and your questions answered.

3. Don’t Forget About the DMV Hearing

When facing a DUI, you have two hearings – the court hearing, which will determine if you are criminally innocent or guilty of driving under the influence, and a DMV hearing, which will determine if your license will be suspended or not. These hearings are independent of one another and the finding in one will not impact the finding in the other. If keeping your license is a priority, make sure that you attend your DMV hearing and present a strong case.

4. Accept the Decision

You need to start preparing yourself for a verdict of guilty. Even if you are found not guilty by the court, the DMV can still suspend your license. While it is important to think positively and do everything you can to build a strong defense for yourself, sometimes the evidence against you can be overwhelming and you will lose your case. Prepare for this possibility by getting together funds to pay fines, alerting your boss of time that you might have to take off from work to go to court, a treatment program, or even jail, and make alternative transportation plans in case your license is suspended. If you’re prepared for a guilty verdict, you can get through this experience and move on more quickly.

These are four of my top tips for how to move on after a DUI. I know that you probably feel incredibly stressed and overwhelmed right now. If this is the case, please give me a call and we can set up a free consultation to discuss your case. As I always say – hope is not a strategy, but calling me is. I am here to help.