Driving while intoxicated (DWI) refers to operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is illegal in all states in the United States and can result in fines, jail time, and the loss of one’s driver’s license. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving is typically 0.08%, but some states have stricter laws for commercial drivers or drivers under the age of 21.
If you are facing DWI charges, here is what you need to do;
Contact a DWI attorney
A DWI attorney like Trey Porter can provide guidance and representation throughout the legal process and can help protect your rights and interests. They can review the evidence against you, determine potential legal defenses, and advise you on the best course of action.
They can also negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf and represent you in court if your case goes to trial. It is important to find an attorney with experience handling DWI cases, as they will be familiar with the specific laws and penalties related to that charge.
Comply with the court process
Failing to appear for scheduled court appearances or violating any conditions of your release can result in additional charges and penalties. It is also important to remember that the court process can take time, so it is important to be patient and follow your attorney’s advice. If you are released on bail or your own recognizance, it is crucial to adhere to the conditions of release as it may affect your case.
Additionally, it is important to note that if you are convicted of DWI, you may face additional penalties such as a suspended or revoked driver’s license, and it may be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle or be mandated to attend alcohol education or treatment program.
It is important to comply with all the penalties imposed by the court as it will help in reducing the charges or penalties and also in the future if you want to apply for a restricted license or have your license reinstated.
Consider any plea bargains or diversion programs
Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, the prosecution may offer a plea bargain or a diversion program as an alternative to going to trial. A plea bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defense in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduced sentence or penalty.
A diversion program is a supervised program that allows first-time or non-violent offenders to complete certain requirements, such as community service or treatment, in exchange for the charges against them being dropped or reduced.
Note that these options may be available only if the prosecution has enough evidence to prove their case in court. These options can benefit the defendants as they can result in reduced charges or penalties and help avoid the high cost and stress of going to trial.
However, it is important to consult with an attorney before deciding whether to accept a plea bargain or participate in a diversion program. They can advise you on the potential consequences and help you make an informed decision.
Prepare for the trial
If your case goes to trial, it is important to work closely with your attorney to prepare a defense. This may involve gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and retaining expert witnesses. Your attorney will help you understand the prosecution’s evidence against you and explain the legal principles that apply to your case.
During the trial, your attorney will present your defense, cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses, and make closing arguments. The defense strategy will depend on the facts of your case and the applicable laws, but it could include arguing that the traffic stop or arrest was illegal, that the field sobriety tests were not administered properly, or that the breath or blood test results were inaccurate or unreliable.
Essentially, going to trial can be a long and stressful process, and the outcome is never guaranteed. Even with the best defense, there is always the possibility that a jury may find the defendant guilty. It’s important to have realistic expectations and to be prepared for any outcome.
Be aware of the penalties
The penalties for a DWI conviction can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the case’s specific circumstances. Penalties may include fines, jail time, community service, and suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Repeat offenders may face more severe penalties, such as longer jail sentences or higher fines.
The specific penalties for a DWI conviction can vary depending on the state, but generally, it may include the following:
Fines: which can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
Jail time: which can range from a few days to several years, depending on the severity of the offense and whether there were any aggravating circumstances, such as high blood alcohol content (BAC) or injuries or deaths resulting from the incident.
Community service: which can range from a few hours to several hundred hours of community service.
Suspension or revocation of driver’s license: which can range from a few months to several years, depending on the state laws and the number of prior offenses.
Alcohol education or treatment programs: which can be required as part of the sentence or as a condition for having the driver’s license reinstated.
Ignition interlock device: This can be installed on the vehicle to prevent the driver from operating it if they have been drinking.
In addition to the legal penalties, a DWI conviction can also have long-term consequences, such as difficulty finding employment, higher insurance rates, and difficulty obtaining a loan.
Being charged with DWI does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. An attorney can help you understand your rights and the potential outcome of your case. It is also important to consider any possible long-term consequences of a DWI conviction, such as higher insurance rates and difficulty finding employment.