One of the biggest fears drivers have is being charged with a DWI. While most adults take precautions against this risk, mistakes happen — and you may find yourself facing this charge entirely by surprise.
In the event that you are arrested for driving while intoxicated, there are several steps to take to ensure that you maintain your driving privileges and avoid harsh penalties.
What To Do After Receiving a DWI Charge
Immediately After Your Charge
Upon being pulled over for a DWI, you need to understand that the police officer is not on your side, and you’ll want to do everything in your power to protect yourself while still cooperating.
Typically, all the officer will need to arrest you is a certain reading on a breathalyzer or to see you showing certain signs of impairment from a field sobriety test — so answering questions the officer asks can be used to further incriminate you. Do what you can to cooperate with the officer, but respectfully decline to answer questions without your attorney present.
Understand Your Charges
Understanding your charges, and the penalties associated with them, are important in crafting your defense later on. Depending on the unique circumstances of your DWI charge, you could be facing a number of penalties. These can include:
Fines and surcharges
License suspension or revocation
Many factors go into a judge determining the penalties you could face if you’re convicted of a DWI, such as your past criminal record — that is, if you have been previously convicted of a DWI — if your DWI involved an accident, an assault, or a hit and run, and the level at which you were intoxicated. It’s also important to note that, if your DWI involved an accident or assault, you could face a felony charge — as opposed to a misdemeanor — which can have more serious penalties.
Contact a Lawyer
The best way to protect yourself after being charged with a DWI is to employ the help of a skilled DWI defense attorney. Not only can your attorney craft a defense to help protect your future, but they can also help you handle licensing issues.
Handle Licensing Issues
If you are arrested for a DWI, refuse to submit to a chemical test, or give a breath sample of 0.08 or greater, your license will be taken by the arresting officer and you will be given a Notice of Suspension.
Once you receive this, you must request a hearing to challenge the administrative license revocation (ALR) within 15 days. In some cases, you will only have 10 days to schedule this hearing, and failing to do so will result in your license being suspended 40 days after you received the notice.
As mentioned, your DWI attorney can schedule your ALR hearing and represent you to help regain your driving privileges.
Build Your Defense
Once you obtain a DWI attorney, you can begin working on the best defense to protect your future. You may think that your case is set in stone and nothing can be done to prove your innocence or reduce or dismiss your charges, but this isn’t the case. There are plenty of arguments to be made to help you avoid harsh penalties. This can include challenging:
Although these are very commonplace in DWI stops, they are not a good indicator of sobriety or impairment and do not take your personal attributes into account. There is no way to “pass” them — in fact, many people would still “fail” them entirely sober.
The police need a reason to pull you over in the first place, such as swerving in your lane or driving above or below the speed limit. If there was no probable cause to stop you, you may be able to have your charges dropped.
In some cases, drivers may leave a scene if they do not realize there has been a collision or damage done to another vehicle or because they were trying to avoid another accident.
At Hamilton Grant PC, we work relentlessly with clients to pursue their legal rights and freedom. We thoroughly investigate all criminal DWI charges to ensure that their rights have not been breached during the arrest or post-arrest procedures.
With the help of a highly trained and experienced Dallas DWI lawyer, you may be able to successfully fight the allegation of DWI.
Contact us today for the legal representation you deserve for your case!