If you were arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in California, you may be facing severe penalties if convicted. Oftentimes, a person who was charged with DUI feels as if there is no possibility or hope of reducing or eliminating the impending sentence against them. However, some options, like drug or alcohol rehabilitation, may be available and could help to reduce your sentence and the consequences of a DUI conviction. Understanding your options can help you formulate a plan to not only potentially reduce your penalties and sentencing but also help you get your life back on track.
What is Rehabilitation?
Rehabilitation is the process where someone who has addiction problems to either drugs or alcohol can get assistance from a profession to recover from that addiction or impairment. Substance abuse rehabilitation programs attempt to break the addictive cycle of drug or alcohol use, while also attempting to address the underlying issues that may have caused the cycle of addiction in the first place. These rehabilitation centers can be either inpatient or outpatient.
Additionally, there are group meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) that have weekly meetings, providing a 12-step program to help you with your alcohol addiction, and a sponsor who acts as a mentor through the process. Other people may prefer individual therapy sessions with a qualified professional who specializes in addiction treatment.
Using Rehab as Part of Your Defense Strategy
After you were arrested for a DUI, you were likely taken to jail and had to stay there for up to 12 hours. After your release, you may be wondering how to approach the rest of the time you have before your actual court date. Typically, a court date for sentencing is sixty (60) days after an arrest date. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible can help you determine your next steps and build a strong defense strategy.
One option your attorney may suggest to you is to go to AA or some sort of rehabilitation center for alcohol addiction immediately. Two months is a long window of time to illustrate changed behavior and a willingness to show a good faith towards changing your lifestyle. Prosecutors and judges look favorably on defendants who make the decision to go to some sort of rehabilitation program of their own volition, without being required to do so. The more times you go to AA meetings or visit with a professional therapist add up to show a commitment to your health and that you have taken the DUI charge seriously.
Oftentimes, a court in California will even be willing to postpone a court date, if the defendant voluntarily checked themselves into an inpatient alcohol treatment program. Checking into an inpatient treatment program seems to carry the most weight with prosecutors and judges, as it shows the determination and seriousness of the defendant to get his or her life back on track.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you were arrested and charged with a DUI, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately to help you navigate your next steps and build a strong defense strategy. Taking wise steps early on can help lessen the penalties that will be imposed upon you during sentencing. Contact our legal team at The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann at 714-294-0568 or online today for your free consultation.