How To Handle Your Spouse's DUI

If your spouse has been arrested for DUI, you'll probably experience a whirlwind of emotions. If it's your first time dealing with a DUI, you may be frightened and unsure of what to do. If your spouse has been arrested before, you may be angry and worried about the future. Here are some tips for dealing with a spouse's DUI arrest.

Talk To The Jail About Bail

Get your spouse out of jail as soon as you can in order to reduce stress on both of you. Talk to a jail official so you understand the steps needed to get your spouse out of jail and how much it will cost. States have different laws, so if your spouse was arrested while traveling, you want to make sure you have the right information. If no one was hurt and your spouse doesn't have a record of previous DUI arrests, bailing out of jail might be an easy process. It might be possible to do it right after the arrest. However, if circumstances warrant it, your spouse may have to stay in jail until the judge determines bail. If your spouse's case is complicated, consider calling a DUI attorney for help so your spouse gets the best outcome from the judge.

Understand The Process Ahead Of You

DUI cases tend to move along quicker than some other types of court cases, and you want to know the dates of all the appearances your spouse needs to make. Your spouse should not miss a court date and that might be challenging if he or she is no longer able to drive. Talk to a DUI attorney about what to expect and how to handle the case. An attorney might consider challenging the arrest or have another angle that could get the case dropped or the sentence reduced. However, you should prepare for the possibility of jail time, loss of driving privileges, and hefty fines so they don't take you off guard if they occur.

Know The Conditions For Release From Jail

Your spouse may have restrictions imposed when released from jail. These could depend on the severity of the crime and the discretion of the judge. Your spouse may need to undergo alcohol counseling, avoid alcohol, stay in the local area, and avoid illegal activities. Some restrictions may be imposed by the bail bond company if you use one. Be sure you and your spouse understand these conditions if there are any so your spouse doesn't do something that will make their legal situation worse.

Plan For The Future

At the very least, a DUI is an expensive life event. There are court costs, fines, and attorney fees. You'll likely have to pay thousands of dollars, even for a first offense. Your finances could be further impacted if your spouse loses a job due to not being able to drive to work. Not only that, you may have to deal with a drinking problem in your spouse that you didn't realize existed. Navigating through this emotionally charged time will be difficult, especially if you have kids you want to protect from the situation.

Educate yourself as soon as you can so you have time to make arrangements for financial and transportation help from family and friends if it will be needed. Talking to an attorney as soon as possible helps put your mind at ease too since you'll have an experienced professional to guide you through the process and tell you what to expect each step along the way.