What to Do After Being Charged with a DWI in Denton County
Many drivers are afraid of being arrested for DWI, so we all make sure to avoid driving if we’ve had too much to drink. But we all know that nothing is foolproof and that anyone of us could face DWI charges “out of the blue.”
What should you do if you are charged with a DWI?
When Stopped by Law Enforcement
If you are pulled over by the police for DWI, it’s important to realize that they are not going to side with you. Therefore, you must do everything possible to protect yourself even though you need to cooperate up to a point.
In most situations, all the officer needs to justify an arrest is for the breathalyzer to show a particular reading or for you to show signs of impairment while taking a field sobriety test. So, any answers you give in response to the officer’s questions could be incriminating. Try to be as cooperative as you can, while refusing to answer any questions unless your attorney is with you.
Understand the Seriousness of Your Charges
It is important that you have a full understanding of your DWI charges and the possible penalties. This way you can later craft a good defense. The exact circumstances under which you were charged will to a large extent determine the penalties you could be facing.
These penalties could include the following:
- Community service
- Fines and other charges
- Revoked or suspended license
- Requirement for SR-22 insurance
If you end up being convicted of DWI, the judge will consider numerous factors before deciding on the penalties. This could start with whether you’ve previously been convicted of DWI, if this DWI incident involved some sort of accident, a hit and run, an assault and how intoxicated you were when the officer pulled you over. You need to know that if an accident or assault occurred as a result of your DWI, you could be charged with a felony, which is far more serious in terms of penalties than a misdemeanor.
Once you’ve been charged with DWI you’ll want to hire an experienced DWI defense attorney to fight for you. A highly skilled DWI attorney can craft a strong defense to safeguard your future as well as deal with the issues involving your driver’s license.
If law enforcement arrests you for DWI and your breath test shows a result of 0.08 or higher, or you decline to take a chemical test, the officer will confiscate your driver’s license and you will receive a Notice of Suspension.
Once you get the Notice of Suspension, you have 15 days to ask for a hearing to fight the administrative license revocation (ALR). In some cases, you are only allowed 10 days to set up the hearing, and if you don’t do this your driver’s license will be suspended 40 days after receiving the Notice of Suspension.
Your DWI attorney will get your ALR hearing scheduled, represent you at the hearing and do everything possible to get your driving privileges back.
Craft Your Defense
Once you start meeting with your DWI attorney, the two of you can start working on building the best possible defense to safeguard your future. You may be discouraged about your chances of successfully fighting your case, but don’t be. There are a whole host of arguments that can be made on your behalf to keep you from being severely penalized.
We can often challenge the following:
Unreliability of Field Sobriety Tests
Even though these tests are very commonly used by law enforcement when they stop drivers suspected of DWI, they do not reliably measure sobriety or level of impairment. They also do not incorporate your personal attributes. The truth is that no one “passes” these tests as it’s been proven that many people “fail” them even when they’re completely sober.
The police must have a good reason to stop drivers in the first place. This is called “probable cause” and without that, the officer may have broken the law by pulling you over. Probable cause could be that you were driving over or under the speed limit or endangering other drivers by swerving in and out of your lane. Without probable cause for the police to pull you over, your lawyer can argue that your charges should be dropped.
The experienced DWI lawyers at The Peugh Law Firm work tirelessly on behalf of our clients to protect their legal rights and secure their freedom. We investigate every aspect of the criminal DWI charges against our clients to ensure that their legal rights were upheld throughout their arrest and during all post-arrest processing and procedures.
With a highly skilled and experienced Denton, TX DWI attorney working on your behalf like Daniel K. Peugh, you may succeed in fighting the DWI charges against you.