No person is perfect; we all make mistakes. However, how we respond to these mistakes dictates whether we learn from them and grow or wind up making their situation worse.
For example, if you are facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges, your next steps matter a great deal. Avoiding certain mistakes can have a tremendous impact on your future.
Mistake #1: Failing to comply with court orders
Depending on your case and the details of your charges or conviction, the courts can order you to do several things. These measures can include:
- Refraining from using drugs or alcohol
- Refraining from driving
- Attending court dates
- Staying in Alabama
- Installing an ignition interlock device in your car
- Attending counseling or alcohol education courses
- Paying fines
At any point in a DUI case, whether you are awaiting your first hearing or have been through sentencing, violating an order from the court can be a costly mistake. It can bring new charges and compromise any leniency the courts or prosecutors may have been considering.
Mistake #2: Hoping it will go away on its own
A DUI charge is not going to go away on its own. The next hearing after arraignment may take days or weeks, but the charges will not just disappear.
You or your lawyer will need to respond to DUI charges. This is an active process involving hearings, entering pleas, obtaining evidence and preparing your defense.
Mistake #3: Making another mistake
After an arrest or conviction, committing another misdemeanor or felony can trigger severe consequences. For instance, subsequent DUI charges can mean longer license suspensions or revocation periods, heftier fines and lengthier incarceration sentences.
Further, even if an additional offense does not involve a DUI, you could face complications if you are on probation or navigating other legal situations, like child custody cases. For example, a criminal record with multiple offenses could affect your professional, personal or public reputation.
Learning from a mistake
If you have been charged or convicted of a DUI in Alabama, you cannot turn back the clock. However, you can learn from this mistake and avoid future ones to minimize the long-term impact that the offense has on you and your future.