Blow. Don’t Blow. Take the 5th. Tell your side of the story. Do the field sobriety tests. Refuse the tests. Cooperate. Don’t cooperate. There is conflicting advice when it comes to what to do when you are being arrested. But after an arrest what can you do to help the outcome of your criminal case?
Depending on what you were arrested for there are things you can do as the client that may help your case. At first glance it may seem that participating in the classes and counseling mentioned below may appear to be an admission to the crime itself, however a skilled criminal defense attorney can make your participation in these activities work for your case. Every case is different, thus a criminal defense attorney with experience in the type of matter you were arrested for can best strategize which of the following may benefit the ultimate outcome of your case.
Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) Meetings
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who come together to solve their drinking problem. It doesn’t cost anything to attend A.A. meetings. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about their drinking problem. Meeting are both in-person and online. A.A.’s primary purpose is to help alcoholics to achieve sobriety. A.A. is oftentimes recommended for clients who have been arrested for DUI or for clients whose arrest was influenced by alcohol.
Narcotics Anonymous (N.A.) Meetings
Similar to A.A., N.A. offers recovery from the effects of addiction through working a twelve-step program, including regular attendance at group meetings. The group atmosphere provides help from peers and offers an ongoing support network for addicts who wish to pursue and maintain a drug-free lifestyle. N.A. is sometimes recommended for clients who have been arrested where the influence of drugs was involved or in cases of possession of a controlled substance.
Anger Management Course
Anger Management courses are offered in person and on-line. Typical Anger Management courses focus on identifying the causes of anger, understanding what triggers this unhealthy emotion and which behavior patterns lead to anger, and identifying ways to avoid or reduce those patterns. Anger Management courses are typically recommended for clients who have been involved in a Battery or Domestic Battery case.
Batterer’s Intervention Prevention (BIP) Classes
Batterer’s Intervention Prevention (BIP) Classes are required for those found guilty or placed on probation for an act of Domestic Violence and may be required for those Respondents who have a Final Order for an Injunction For Protection Against Domestic Violence. BIP classes provide strategies for taking responsibility, developing critical thinking skills, addressing substance abuse, and improving communication, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills. Participating in BIP classes proactively (when not otherwise required) can be a useful bargaining tool with the State Attorney and shows that you are taking the case seriously and taking responsibility for your actions.
DUI School addresses the effects of alcohol and drugs on a driver's ability to operate a motor vehicle, reviews Florida traffic laws relating to DUI, reviews the DUI process through the court system and DHSMV, and identifies alternatives to future drinking and driving situations. DUI School is frequently recommended to clients who have been arrested on a DUI and enrollment in DUI School is typically required as a prerequisite to obtaining a hardship or business purpose only (BPO) driver license.
Victim Impact Panel (VIP)
The purpose of the Victim Impact Panel (VIP) program is to help drunk and drugged driving offenders to recognize and internalize the lasting and long-term effects of substance-impaired driving. The classes seek to create an empathy and understanding of the tragedy, leave a permanent impression that leads to changes in thinking and behavior and prevents future offenses. VIP is typically required for DUI offenses.
Psychological counseling can sometimes be beneficial to the outcome of your case. Either through a Psychiatrist, Psychologist, or Licensed Mental Health Care (LMHC) that may address issues such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, anger management, family and/or marriage counseling, participation and treatment in mental health counseling may benefit your case and moreover may benefit you personally in the long term.
Remember, taking any of the above classes, counseling, or courses does not admit your guilt to the offense. Being proactive and taking responsibility for your part in the alleged offense is most oftentimes viewed favorably by the State Attorney and may assist in getting your charges dropped or reduced. As well, participating in classes, counseling, or courses that may otherwise be required can potentially shorten any potential term of probation. Make sure to consult with an attorney to determine what course of action is best for your case and circumstances.
If you were arrested for a criminal offense you should consult with an attorney who can assess the facts and circumstances of your arrest and formulate a plan for your best defense. We will review the arrest and other associated evidence (including Body Worn Camera footage) in an effort to resolve your case successfully. We have significant experience defending criminal cases including experience as a former State Attorney in Pinellas County and experience on the Pinellas County State Attorney’s DUI Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide Squad. Contact the Morris Law Firm at (727) 388-4736 for a strategic review of your criminal case. The Morris Law Firm represents clients throughout the Tampa Bay Area, including Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.