DWI charges can be devastating. People get so worried about potential consequences, though, that they forget to plan for what’s to come. It’s important to know what to expect with DWI charges so you and your attorney can take appropriate action. Having a legal game plan is one of the best things you can do to fight charges and minimize any impact to your criminal record or ability to drive. There is also the possibility of fines and even jail time, depending on the state and number of occurrences. Here’s a quick breakdown of what to expect if you’re being charged with DWI.
License Will Be Taken
Usually, the arresting officer will seize a person’s license if they’re facing DWI charges. They’ll suspend the license and issue a temporary one that will last until your scheduled hearing. Make sure to request a hearing. Sometimes they aren’t automatic, and when people fail to schedule them, their temporary license expires. At the hearing, a successful case means you will get your license back. If convicted, though, you could be facing a longer suspended license period.
You Can Refuse BAC Tests
Drivers facing DWI charges have the right to refuse urine, blood, or breath tests from police officers. The tests are used to determine blood alcohol levels (BAC) and whether you’re driving impaired. However, refusing the tests often means your license will be automatically suspended for anywhere from a few months up to a year. The suspension lasts even if you aren’t convicted on DWI charges.
DWI Charges Can Result in Car Seizure
It doesn’t always happen, but sometimes charges mean your car will be taken as well. This is especially true if it isn’t a first-time charge. These penalties of property seizure are becoming less common, thanks to devices that can test blood alcohol levels before a car will start. However, if a judge feels like you’re being reckless, they can seize your car.
The best thing you can do if you’re charged with DWI is to call an attorney. A good DWI lawyer can walk you through what to say and what to do. They have experience fighting DWI charges and understand what standards of proof the officer and court must meet. It’s always a good idea to have a lawyer you know before you get into any bad situations.
The team at Stephen Bowling & Associates has years of experience helping clients with a number of legal issues. Call us today to hear what we can do for you.