Getting a late night call from the county jail with the news that your spouse has been arrested on a driving under the influence (DUI) charge is never pleasant. Unfortunately, however, these calls happen all too often. 

In addition to the stress this situation is sure to place on your relationship, it can also create difficulties with family and at work. If you have just received this type of call or fear that you will in the near future, the following advice can help you minimize the stress and restore some normalcy to your life. 

Stay calm and gather the details 

If your spouse is the one making the call, advise them to remain calm and make sure they are aware that the phone system they are using is likely monitored. Once you have done this, ask them to tell you exactly where they are being held and the exact name of the charge on which they have been arrested and charged. 

Suggest contacting an attorney

If your spouse has been subjected to any type of illegal search or they feel that their rights have been or are being violated, remind them that they have the right to speak with an attorney. If they wish to do so, contact an attorney and give information you have gathered about the arrest. 

If the DUI charge is a first offense, it will be classified as a misdemeanor, with punishment often including both a fine and jail time. The specific laws in the jurisdiction in which your spouse was arrested, blood alcohol content, and other factors will determine the severity of the punishment meted out, should your spouse plead or be found guilty of the charge. 

If the offense is not a first offense, the situation becomes more serious and contacting an attorney should be seriously considered. Utilizing an attorney will also make it more likely for your spouse to be found not guilty by the courts, or to find a way to pursue getting the charge reduced or amended.  

Make arrangements for bail

The next thing to do is to make arrangements to have your spouse released on bail. To do this, contact a reputable bail bond agent in your area who offers 24/7 service. 

While some jurisdictions may agree to release someone they have charged with DUI after holding them for several hours, it is safest for your spouse to move ahead and post their bail as soon as possible after their arrest.