Charged with Drunk Driving? Remember These Important Steps

Criminal defense law firm

You made the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a couple of drinks. You thought you were good to drive but didn?t calculate the light dinner or alcohol content of the drink that you had. Even when you were pulled over, you explained to the police officer that you had only a couple of drinks. Yet, the breathalyzer test showed that you were over the limit. The only thing you can do from here is to deal with your charges and prevent it from ruining the rest of your life.

Follow the officer?s orders
If you are pulled over, it is best to always follow the officer?s orders. Failing to follow these orders or getting an attitude with the police officer will only make things worse. You don?t want to add a resisting arrest charge to the DUI. Added charges can make it more difficult to get plea bargains or to avoid jail, due to the DUI or DWI charge. It is best to follow the officer?s orders and then work on the legalities later.

Inform the officer of any weapons or drugs
Adding weapon or drug charges to a DWI can also make the sentencing much worse. If you have either weapons or drugs in the vehicle at the time of arrest, it is best to tell the officer. If you are legally carrying a weapon, make sure you also show them your carrying license. Failing to tell them can give them the wrong intention and the officer could think that they are at risk of being harmed. A criminal defense law firm will also have an easier time representing you if you make the officer aware of the entire situation.

Contact a criminal defense law firm immediately
You won?t have the ability to call your criminal defense law firm during the arrest, but it should happen shortly after. You might be required to spend the night in the jail cell until your blood alcohol content level reduces. However, once you are released, it is important to contact your criminal defense law firm. This gives them sufficient time to prepare your case and to gather the details of the arrest. You are likely to have a preliminary court date shortly after being released from jail, so you want sufficient time to prepare.

Be entirely open with your attorney
Leaving the possibility of surprises can ruin your case. If your criminal defense attorney is not aware of all of the details of the case, they cannot properly represent you. If there are drug charges or drug crimes were committed in addition to the DWI, for example, be sure to inform your attorney. If you were driving on a suspended license during the arrest, this is also important information. Approximately 50% to 75% of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license. These charges are harder to overcome.

Accept negotiations
If this is your first DWI case, you may be offered a negotiation. You might not like the idea of doing community service or installing a blood alcohol device into your vehicle, but both of these options beat jail time and a permanent DWI record. Devices can actually be very helpful. Devices are installed in the vehicles of people who have been convicted of driving while impaired. They prevent operation of the vehicle by anyone with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above a specified safe level (usually 0.02 to 0.04%). When installed, interlocks are associated with nearly a 70% reduction in rearrest rates for impaired driving.

Drunk driving is associated with higher auto accident rates. In fact on average, two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime. Facing a DUI or DWI can leave you with legal charges that affect the rest of your life, even if it was a mistake. If you are charged with a DWI, it is important to consult with a criminal defense, or DWI attorney, as soon as possible.

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