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CaseLaw, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1559
Experience:  BCom; LLB; Masters in Law
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I was arrested under the influence on Wednesday.

Customer Question

Hi, I was arrested for driving under the influence on Wednesday. I was also involved in a minor accident on the night. I was not read any rights, not allowed to make any phone calls and was put in a holding cell for the night. My case was referred to court on Thursday morning but I was told to go home and wait for the blood tests to return. I was not given a case number ***** any further information. This is my first offence and I am terrified! What are my next steps? I have been told that due to it being a first offence, I should not expect anything to happen. I have also not heard from the other driver? Thanks!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  CaseLaw replied 2 years ago.
Hi there and thank you for your question,First, you must have been charged by the police with drunk driving or driving under the influence, especially if blood was taken from you. Was the blood taken from you within 2 hours of the accident? (I'm assuming that you were arrested as a result of the accident?)I also assume that you already appeared in Court last Thursday morning. You should have been given a document of some sort with a case number ***** it. I'm assuming that you case was postponed or withdrawn pending the results of your blood test. If that is so, then you should know that it will take roughly 12 - 18 months for your blood tests to be done. Only then will the prosecutor decide whether to prosecute you or not. If you were (for example) 1% over the limit, then he might decide to NOT prosecute you. If that happens, you'll never actually find out, because the case will just "go away".If he does decide to prosecute you, then the police will summons you to appear in court again, where the prosecutor will formally charge you with drunk driving, and will ask you to plead (guilty / not guilty) to the charges. At that point in time you should ask that the court postpones your case so that you can obtain legal representation.Just because it is the first offence does NOT mean that nothing will happen. That's a myth. If you are under 40 then you can always ask the prosecutor to refer your matter for community service, so that you don't get a police record. That's probably a good way out for you! Your next step is to wait for the police blood test results. There's little to no point in getting an attorney involved now.The other driver is a different story - that is a civil claim. His insurance company will sue you for causing the accident (assuming that you were the cause) and your insurance company will take over and settle it for you. That's if you have insurance. If there is something more specific that you need clarity on, please continue in this same thread. Let me know if you need more advice!I hope you found my answer helpful. If you did, PLEASE rate my answer & please leave me positive feedback! Good luck and best regards,CaseLawPlease note: This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult a local attorney in person for legal advice. This information is being provided so you can better discuss legal matters with your attorney.
Expert:  CaseLaw replied 2 years ago.
Hi there again,
I hope that you understood the above advice and that it was useful? Please leave positive feedback for me.
If you have a further question please ask it?