Posted on: 2 June 2015
Being charged with a DUI is no laughing matter – because nearly 30 individuals are killed each day in vehicle accidents throughout the United States that involve intoxication, the offense is typically taken seriously by the court system. To minimize jail time and financial fines, it's important to prove that you are committed to sober driving in the future. Here are four things you can provide your attorney that helps you do just that:
Letters from References
It's helpful to provide your attorney and the court with a little background information about your personal life and your personality. This will add some dimension to your character and help the court understand that there is more to your character than reckless behavior. A great way to give both your lawyer and the judge some insight into your personal lifestyle is to have friends and family write letters on your behalf.
These letters should include personal anecdotes, insights and opinions about how you handle your responsibilities, and support for your future commitment to sober driving. Make sure that each letter includes the name, address, and telephone number of the person who wrote it. It's also a good idea to ask the letter writers to have their documents notarized before you hand them over to your lawyer.
A Declaration of Intention
To ensure that the court is clear about your future intentions to drive sober, you should prepare a personal declaration of intention for the judge. Writing a personalized letter to the judge gives you an opportunity to put into your own words what you have learned from your ordeal and how you plan to avoid a similar situation again.
This letter is also an opportunity for you to outline the steps you've taken and plan to continue taking in order to ensure sober driving. For example, if you decide to join a program that fights drunk driving or you choose to talk at high schools about the dangers of getting behind the wheel after drinking, these are things that the judge should learn about in your letter.
Support Group Documentation
An effective way to get some support throughout your ordeal and to prove to the court that you understand the seriousness of drunk driving is to join a group like Alcoholics Anonymous that is designed to help people maintain sober lifestyles. Whether you participate daily, weekly, or monthly, create a ledger that tracks each day you participate in a group session and have the administrator of the group sign the ledger to acknowledge your attendance.
If you can't attend group meetings in person, consider joining an online website that offers daily virtual meetings – many are happy to electronically document your attendance. You should provide the ledgers to your attorney as they're filled out so they can be submitted with the rest of your evidence.
Proof of Safety Course Participation
One consequence of being found guilty of a DUI charge, is having to attend a safety driving course. Attending and graduating from the course beforehand will minimize the chance of having to do it later, and will show the judge that you aren't afraid to put in some work in order to ensure that you don't reoffend in the future.
Providing your DUI attorney with your graduation certificate is enough to prove your attendance, but if you did exceptionally well in the course, ask your instructor to write a letter on your behalf to submit along with your certificate.
These options not only prove to the court that you're serious about not re-offending, but they also provide effective support and tools you can use to make sure that sober driving remains a top priority.Share