Common Mistakes After a DWI Arrest
Facing a DWI charge is a stressful and frightening experience. However, despite how emotionally overwhelming the situation may appear, it is important to understand that what you choose to do after your arrest is going to affect the final outcome of your case.
With severe penalties for DWI convictions in Texas (maximum jail sentence of 180 days, fine of up to $2,000, and driver’s license suspension for up to one year), individuals facing drunk driving charges need to be extremely careful to avoid certain mistakes that could jeopardize their legal defense.
The following are common mistakes people make after a drunk driving arrest:
- Fail to hire a DUI defense attorney - No matter if it was your first offense, or your fourth offense, hiring a criminal defense lawyer is a crucial part of protecting your rights, reputation, and future. An attorney who is experienced in DUI cases can help you either obtain a “not guilty” verdict at trial, get your entire case dismissed, or get your charges substantially reduced.
- Not realizing the seriousness of your charges - Just because you fail to address the charges against you, doesn’t mean they’re going to suddenly vanish. Not taking any action can result in you serving the maximum penalties. Not only can you serve time in jail, even if it’s your first time, but you can also lose the ability to drive for a long period of time.
- Refuse a chemical test after arrest - According to Texas’ “implied consent” law, refusing to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test after a DWI arrest can result in serious consequences. For a first offense, you could automatically lose your driving privileges for up to one year.
- Assume you are guilty - If you go into court and plead guilty without having any understandings of what the law is without examining the evidence used against you, and without consulting a lawyer. You are at the whim of the judge or prosecutor, which often results in an unfavorable outcome. There may be several defenses available to you in order to help you get the best results possible.
- Drive on a suspended license - If you are caught driving with a suspended license, after having been charged with a DWI, it can result in additional fines and the possibility of increased jail time. If your driver’s license got suspended as a result of a DWI arrest, you may have a chance to obtain limited driving privileges through a hardship license and/or installing an ignition interlock device (IID) to your vehicle.
- Miss important dates - After an arrest, you only have a limited amount of time to take legal action. For example, you have 15 days from your arrest to challenge your pending ALR license suspension and request a hearing. If you fail to take the appropriate action in a timely manner, it will only result in more penalties and hardship.
- Fail to exercise your Miranda Rights - You may think that you can talk your way out of the situation and reason with the police. However, this never works. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court. You have the right to remain silent, and you should do so. Furthermore, avoid answering any questions without an attorney present.
If you have been arrested for a DWI in Texas, our McKinney criminal defense attorney at Crowder Law Firm PC can evaluate your case and determine all of the available legal options in order to get the results you desire. With 18 years of experience and more than 200 trials acquitted, we can help you navigate the complexities of your case and protect your rights.
For more information, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.