How to cope with DUI stress while your case is pending
Being stopped and arrested with a DWI is a very frightening experience. It is the last thing you expect to happen on your way home from dinner or a night out with friends. You consider yourself to be responsible and have only had “a couple” so that you would be fine to drive home. If you thought for a moment that you were “impaired” or unsafe to drive, you would never get behind the wheel. You have plenty of options, including a cab, Uber, or you can even call your spouse or a friend to come pick you up. Nevertheless, you see blue lights behind you and now you have been charged with driving while impaired (DWI). You feel a number of emotions all at the same time. Our clients often report feeling embarrassed, ashamed, anxious, humiliated, and frankly, quite scared. They fear the unknown. What is going to happen? What can they expect? What can they do to alleviate their concerns? What can their DUI attorney do to help them?
Understanding the DUI process can help with DUI stress
DUI stress and anxiety is most usually the result of a lack of information and what to expect. Once our clients get some initial information and answers they report feeling better after our first meeting in the office. This initial consultation is free, and we spend most of our time reviewing the DWI process and what to expect going through the various steps. We explain what happens at the first court date as well as subsequent court appearances. We also review what they can expect from us as we go forward. We know the DUI stress and anxiety our clients are experiencing and try to answer as many of their questions as we can. We appreciate that information will help to calm the fear of the unknown. Of course, during the initial meeting, we only hear the client’s side and recollection of events. We tell them that we will not be able to have a truly comprehensive discussion until we have had an opportunity to review all of the evidence in their case. Merely hearing one side is of little value until we see what evidence the State will offer at trial. And, many of the things our clients believe are important may never be used depending on the State’s case. Information is power, and we do our best to give our clients as much information as possible. We even offer an eBook specifically written for Mecklenburg County DWI arrests that clients say helps explain the process. The information in this ebook will provide you with basic information about North Carolina DWI law as well as Mecklenburg County court procedures. We hope it helps anyone who is seeking a better understanding about DUI arrests and prosecution.
Being able to speak with your DWI lawyer can also help
One of the most frequent complaints from clients is that they cannot get through to their lawyer after being hired. Frankly, it is often difficult to speak with a lawyer even before the initial interview. In this era of cell phones and email, there is no longer any excuse for not being able to reach your attorney. During the day, lawyers are often in court, but emails allow them to communicate effectively. Many routine questions can be handled by paralegals at the office. Some questions need the guidance of your lawyer. Some situations can be quite anxiety producing and require more immediate attention. Strangely, these events almost always occur after regular hours, sometimes on weekends, and almost invariably during holidays. That’s when having your DUI lawyer’s personal cell phone and/or direct email address will be the most valuable. As importantly, being able to speak with your attorney for a few minutes to get some answers will really help calm your fears and allow you to get a better night’s sleep. This is exactly why our firm advertises our attorneys’ direct cell phone and email addresses everywhere. We list them on our websites, our business cards, even on firm promotional items. We want you to be able to reach us when you need us. For those inquiries in the middle of the night, we will call you back first thing the next morning. During holidays, we regularly check our phones and voicemails to make sure you can reach us. We know this is important because it is important to you. This is our pledge to you.
Some of our clients already have prior issues with stress, anxiety, depression, etc. DUI stress is going to be especially difficult for them. They may be under professional care and can turn to their counselor or doctor during this aggravating event. Other clients may have led fairly adjusted lives but now find themselves having real problems dealing with DUI stress. They may notice or others may tell them they see disturbing changes in mood, affect, loss of sleep, or loss of focus. For these people, we try to guide them as best we can with information and knowledge, but professional intervention may be necessary. There is absolutely no reason to feel ashamed but every reason to seek help if you feel like your DUI case is getting the best of you. We encourage counseling early in the process so that you can learn effective coping skills to get you through this ordeal. DUI stress is real, and it can take a real toll on your life and those who care about you. Don’t be afraid to seek help. If you meet with a counselor and they say you are doing fine, that’s great. A little prevention always goes a long way. Waiting too late can make it tougher to heal in the long run. Know that we are here for you as well. We are your lawyers and want the best outcome for you. We will work very hard on your behalf. But don’t forget the emotional toll DUI stress can take and then take steps to get it under control.