When you drink and accidentally commit vehicular homicide of the person sitting next to you in the car, what are your options? The police and rescue squads that arrive on scene can clearly see that you are guilty, so there is no way to talk yourself out of the situation. It looks like jail time for you. However, there may still be a chance that a DUI attorney can help and prevent you from gaining several large, new friends in orange jumpsuits.

First, Do Not Say a Thing to Officers or EMTs

You may be traumatized by the event (if you survived the crash), but you should still say nothing or as little as possible. Remember, this could turn into a homicide investigation, if it is not already. Anything you told the police or EMTs can be used against you, despite the obvious and overwhelming evidence at the scene. Then tell your DUI lawyer everything that happened so that you can at least talk about the events with someone without major legal repercussions.

Your Lawyer Will Argue and Barter for a Lesser Sentence

If this is your very first DUI ever (and what a doozy), then your lawyer can argue that you have an otherwise clean record and should not receive the most extreme punishment for driving while intoxicated. Your lawyer may also try to bring the charges down to vehicular manslaughter (rather than homicide). If you have people who can speak to your otherwise un-besmirched character, the judge may grant you mercy. 

The Alternative to Jail: House Arrest

To decrease the number of people in overcrowded prisons, the judge may decide that as your first major DUI offense, he or she can turn you loose on house arrest. House arrest is not exactly fun, but it beats jail. When you are on house arrest, you have to wear an ankle bracelet that monitors your every move. You have to meet regularly with a parole officer to make sure you are following all the rules, including not drinking any sort of alcohol whatsoever. If the judge is particularly lenient, he or she may allow you to go to and from work every day, to and from school, and if needs be, weekly trips to the grocery store. You may also be denied the use of a car and have your license revoked while on house arrest.

It is a very restrictive way to live, and one which continues for the total duration of the time the judge has ordered. However, when you consider the fact that other people in similar circumstances are sent to jail for a year to twenty years for accidental deaths and DUI-related deaths, house arrest seems like a vacation. If you follow everything to the letter while on house arrest, your lawyer may even be able to request some time shaved off for good behavior.