If you Google your name right now, does the search engine return results like the following?
“Jane Doe was arrested for driving under the influence in Los Angeles, Thursday night, when her Honda Civic hit a police cruiser at the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevard.”
If so, you don’t just have a tough legal case – you also have a reputation management problem.
Your DUI arrest can effectively tarnish your reputation on the web indefinitely, particularly if your story was big news or if it generated a lot of chatter in the blogosphere. If you have any doubt about how powerful this effect can be, try Googling any celebrity who has ever been arrested for DUI. Within the top few pages of the search results, you will no doubt find reference to the humiliating DUI arrest. This will be true, even if the person created multimillion dollar businesses, ran a massive philanthropic organization, or starred in dozens of movies and TV shows. The DUI will still show up, big time, in the search results. The effect is that powerful.
So what can you do?
First of all, avoid making the problem worse than it already is. For instance, if you go off and make half cocked statements to the press about what happened, you could escalate the situation and create even more press about your Los Angeles DUI. If you haven’t yet made an appointment with Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group or another competent Los Angeles DUI defense attorney, please do so quickly, so that you can deal with the charges and avoid unpleasant escalations.
Secondly, you can wait it out. Over time, the news about your DUI will recede from the headlines (hopefully), and Google will “down rank” stories pertaining to your arrest accordingly. This won’t happen immediately. But if you’re worried that your elementary school aged kids will be embarrassed in high school because, when their friends Google your name, your DUI story will pop up on page 1, that worry may be premature and paranoid. Time heals all wounds… and most search engine problems.
Thirdly, you can hire firms to help you with what’s called “online reputation management.” This can be expensive stuff. But many firms use sophisticated methods to bump down negative stories from Google’s top search results. For instance, one “brute force” method involves the creation of massive amounts of content about your name, your services, your business, etc — all in an attempt to displace the high ranking DUI story.
But make sure to “put the cart before the horse.” First things first, get in touch with an experienced attorney here at the Kraut Law Group to discuss your Los Angeles DUI defense.