What to do when your child gets a DUI?

If your child is facing DUI charges it is normal to feel angry, embarrassed and scared for their future.  A DUI conviction can negatively impact a person for many years, especially financially. Not only can insurance premiums cost much more, but a criminal conviction can stop someone from getting a job, prevent admission to certain schools, and fail the criteria for earning a professional license. A DUI charge is not just a traffic violation. It is a crime. As a parent you will want to support and assist your child the best way you can.

If your child calls you after being arrested, do not make your child explain what happened. In fact, don’t even ask, and don’t let them tell you. Your child is most likely calling from a booking desk, a holding cell, or is standing in front of a police officer and can be over heard. What your child says to you over the phone can be used in determining the outcome of their case. As a parent you need to find out what the charge is and if bond has been set, or if it has not been set, find out when. Explain to your child that they can tell you everything later. Encourage your child not to waive their right to remain silent or to legal counsel.

Once you know how much the bond is, get your child out of jail. The next thing to do is hire the very best lawyer to represent your child. If your child fails to request an administrative license suspension hearing within 10 business days of their arrest, or loses that hearing, he or she will be unable to drive legally for a number of months. The lawyer should be able to represent your child in both the criminal case and the administrative license suspension hearing.

Chances are you will be caught off guard if you receive this phone call from your child but the right attorney can make all the difference not only in building your child’s case, but also in supporting you through an overwhelming time.