If you are facing a DUI charge in Clearwater, you may feel as if your life is over. You may also worry about going to trial. Regardless of whether this is your first time dealing with a criminal matter or not, the penalties of conviction are severe. You need to act quickly to overcome this ordeal. 

You need to understand the seriousness of your situation. Procrastinating and hoping that your DUI charge will resolve itself is not beneficial and can cause you to miss out on options that could lead to a better outcome. Here are some steps to take to help you mitigate the consequences of a DUI charge

Get an attorney 

The law entitles you to a court-appointed lawyer to defend you in court. However, you might find it more beneficial to invest in your future by hiring a private attorney. A public defender is not necessarily going to have time to review all the information relevant to your case and come up with solid defense options. On the other hand, a private criminal defense attorney has the time, expertise and commitment necessary to help you overcome challenges in your case to potentially receive a reduced or dismissed DUI charge. 

Avoid the driver’s seat 

Do not drive on a suspended license. It does not matter if you think you can get away with it by obeying traffic laws carefully to avoid the notice of law enforcement. If an officer apprehends you while your driving privileges are revoked, you could end up with additional criminal charges that can affect your DUI case. Also, operating a motor vehicle without your license may give the prosecution more cause to advocate for the strictest sentence possible. Use public transportation or have a friend or family member or rideshare driver take you where you need to go. Also, ask your attorney about driver’s license reinstatement options for your situation. 

Consider treatment 

If this is not your first time dealing with a DUI charge or you have a substance abuse problem, you should seek treatment. Enrolling in an alcohol treatment program before your trial can show the courts that you are willing to do what it takes to avoid ending up in this situation again.