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Facing a DUI charge in Omaha Nebraska? Not sure what to do?
If you’re facing DUI charge, here are six things you need to do immediately:
1. Call a DUI attorney
If you’re already looking for DUI attorneys in Omaha, you’re on the right path. Finding an attorney is the first and most important task for anyone facing a DUI charge. You don’t want to face your charge alone. The court system is confusing, and one small mistake – even clerical – can have dire consequences.
A DUI attorney will review the results of your tests and all circumstances involving your arrest to determine if all procedures were properly followed. For example, if your arresting officer had you complete field sobriety tests on an uneven sidewalk and you failed to keep your balance, a DUI lawyer can use that to negotiate a plea bargain with reduced charges.
2. Understand your options
You have a few options when facing a DUI charge, and it’s important to understand what they are.
Your first option is to hire a lawyer and negotiate a plea bargain. Your second option is to fight the charge, which means you’ll go to trial. Which one you should choose depends on the specifics of your case, and should be chosen at the direction of your lawyer.
While some people do successfully fight DUI charges, it’s not a decision you should make without consulting a lawyer. The biggest reason not to fight a DUI charge is if there’s an abundance of evidence against you. For instance, the evidence isn’t in your favor if you were involved in an accident with a fatality, or if you resisted arrest. If you took a blood test and the results came back with a BAC well above the legal limit, that will be another strike against you in the eyes of a jury. Since a blood test is considered more accurate than a breathalyzer, it’s difficult to contest a DUI charge when you’ve taken a blood test.
Most DUI cases are settled with a plea bargain, but plea bargain deals differ based on individual circumstances. For example, if you’re facing your first DUI charge with a clean record, your deal will be less harsh than the deal worked out for someone facing a third DUI charge, or a felony DUI charge.
Going to trial will also be more expensive since it takes more time and extensive preparation than negotiating a plea bargain. Going to trial not an option you should push if your lawyer advises against it.
3. Understand what might complicate your case
There’s often more to a DUI charge than appearing in court for a DUI.
Was there a fatality involved in your case? Were you involved in a crash that damaged private or public property? If so, you might be facing additional charges. If there was a fatality involved, you might be facing charges of manslaughter. If you crashed your car into a fire hydrant, you might end up getting sued by the city. Also, be prepared to attend a license suspension hearing.
4. Trust your lawyer
Facing a DUI charge in Omaha, even when you’ve got a good DUI attorney, can be scary. It’s understandable if you feel frustrated, angry, or scared, especially when your lawyer starts to negotiate a plea deal for you. It’s easy to want to reject an offer because it involves jail time or a suspended license. However, it’s important to trust your lawyer; they will do everything in their power to get you the best deal they possibly can. Depending on the circumstances of your case, they may not be able to get you off the hook for jail time, but they will negotiate a deal that lessens the consequences to some degree.
Trust your lawyer, they know the law inside and out.
5. Educate yourself
If you’re facing your first DUI charge, educate yourself as much as possible. Your DUI attorney can answer all of your questions, so lean on them as a resource. Also, familiarize yourself with the Nebraska Revised Statute, specifically Chapter 60 Section 6,196; Section 6,197.02; and Section 6,197.08. Read them thoroughly, and if you have questions or need clarification, ask your attorney.
Knowing the details can alleviate a significant amount of anxiety, especially if you don’t handle unknown or unfamiliar situations well.
If you don’t do well in unfamiliar situations, you’ll find the following information helpful:
- A first DUI offense carries a jail sentence of 7-60 days, a 6-month license suspension, and a fine up to $500.
- A second DUI offense carries a minimum jail sentence of 30-days, a one-year license suspension, and your vehicle will be immobilized for up to eight months at your expense.
- A third DUI offense carries a jail sentence of 90-days to one year, a license suspension of 2-15 years, a $600 fine, and vehicle immobilization at your expense.
- A fourth DUI offense carries a jail sentence of 6 months to 5 years, a 15-year minimum license suspension, a fine between $1,000-$10,000, and vehicle immobilization at your expense.
- A fifth DUI offense is a felony and carries a jail sentence of 1 to 15 years, a 15-year license suspension, a fine between $1,000-$25,000, and vehicle immobilization at your expense.
- For all DUI offenses, a judge might allow you to install an ignition interlock device on your car in lieu of immobilization.
- There is a process you must go through in order to restore your driving privileges. Once you’re granted permission to reinstate your license, you can’t drive until you actually go through the process at the DMV and pay all fees. If you get pulled over by a police officer, you’ll be considered driving on a suspended license if all you have is the piece of paper stating you can reinstate your license.
The penalty for driving on a suspended license in Omaha is a Class II misdemeanor charge. A Class II misdemeanor will get you up to six months in jail, and a fine of up to $1,000. In some cases, because your revocation period has actually ended, you might be downgraded to a Class III misdemeanor. It’s up to the judge. However, with a Class III misdemeanor charge, you’ll still face three months in jail and a $500 fine.
6. Stay in communication with your DUI attorney
Staying in communication with your attorney is the most critical task for returning to your normal way of life. Make sure you return all phone calls and emails, and don’t hesitate to ask questions when you’re unsure of what’s going on.
DUI attorneys in Omaha are trained to work with people facing the stress and overwhelm that comes with a DUI charge. A lawyer understands facing a DUI charge can be nerve-wracking, and creates uncertainty about your future. Their job is to help you through the process as quickly and painlessly as possible so you can get back to your life and your family.
Don’t wait to schedule a free consultation with an Omaha DUI attorney
Most DUI attorneys offer free consultations, and they generally last a half hour. Consultations are designed so you can share the details of your case, ask questions, and get a general idea of what you can expect from your charges.
Don’t wait to consult with a DUI attorney in Omaha, schedule a free consultation right away and start regaining your peace of mind.