Memphis DUI Attorney Patrick Stegall explains the next steps you should take.

The ordeal of being charged and then jailed on suspicion of drunk driving is an embarrassing, frightening experience. From the second you see the blue lights in the rear-view mirror, to being ordered out of the car, to being given field-sobriety tests, to hearing the words “you’re under arrest,” and finally, to being booked into the jail, can cause anyone to feel tremendous amounts of uncertainty, anxiety and stress.

And now, it’s the day after. You’ve bonded out of jail and perhaps are back home. Maybe you’ve called a close friend or confided to your spouse about the incident. You know that the next stage is the court process, but what do you do?

First, write down everything that happened. Don’t just rely on your memory later on. Get it down on paper while it’s still fresh. Start with the traffic stop. Why did the police pull you over? Where were you pulled over? What time was it? What did the police say when he or she got up to the window? Next, recount the officer ordering you out of the car. What was the weather like? What was the ground like? What field sobriety tests were administered? How did you do?

You’ll want to go through every detail of the arrest, including whether you submitted to a breath or blood test. Be as specific as possible. Next, write down details of what happened before the arrest. Where were you earlier? What and how much did you have to drink and eat? Who was with you? The more you can remember, the more you’ll give yourself (and your attorney) to create a successful defense.

Next, talk to an experienced Memphis DUI lawyer. There are lots of attorneys who dabble in drunk driving defense, but I urge you to limit your search to attorneys who dedicate a large part of their practice to DUI representation. What you’re looking for, basically, is an experienced attorney with a firm knowledge of issues such as breath machine operation, challenging field sobriety tests, and analyzing reasonable suspicion for the initial stop. The lawyer should ask you detailed questions about the stop and arrest, to see what defenses may exist.

To sum up, then, in my opinion the two most important things to do after being arrested for DUI in Memphis are to remember and write down as much as you can, and to talk to and retain the best attorney possible. Don’t delay either one of these. The sooner you can gather your evidence and have an advocate on your side, the better you’ll be in a position to fight your DUI charge.