What to do about a first-time DUI out of state?

I am 19 years old. I got charged with a DUI out of state. I was staying the night at a friend’s house. We did have a few beers. A few of us were just hanging out and some guys I didn’t know just walked in. One of them pulled a gun and started shooting. My first reaction was to get out of there. The police came and were pulling cars over looking for the guy. The officer said he smelled alcohol so tested me. I was a 0.9. I had planned on staying all night and not driving. Fearing I’d get shot I drove 1st time ever. I don’t know what to do or go from here.

Asked on October 23, 2011 under Criminal Law, Iowa

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

 Now, immediately hire an attorney to help you build a case that shows you were essentially attempting to defend yourself by fleeing the area since the shooting was occurring. You need a lawyer to get all the evidence together, interview witnesses, get police reports of your arrest, the other arrests and shooting and then work with the prosecutor to see if the circumstances give you enough to have the charges dismissed. The prosecutor will look to see if your case would make the jury feel sorry for you since the theory would be that you were not planning on driving when you initially began drinking. If this is your first offense (DUI or otherwise), you need a lawyer to help you with either dismissed charges or plea out. If the charges are dismissed, then basically you will next need to seek an expungement of your records and arrest.


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