Common DWI Mistakes People Make
Getting arrested for a DWI can be a frightening, stressful, and confusing experience, especially if it is your first time. It is important to not let your emotions get the best of you. What you decide to do after your arrest can make the difference between having your charges dismissed or getting convicted. A DWI conviction in Texas results in jail time, fines, license suspension, and a permanent mark on your criminal record.
The following are the most common mistakes people make when arrested for DWI:
- Assume you are guilty - Just because you have been arrested doesn’t mean that you are automatically guilty. People who have been charged with DWI have numerous defenses available to them. You could get your case dismissed or your charges reduced if there is evidence of police misconduct or other mistakes by law enforcement that allow you to avoid conviction.
- Not taking the charges seriously - Even a first-time offense can result in life-changing penalties. If you fail to take action, your charge will not disappear. Furthermore, failing to appear in court can lead to additional charges and having a warrant issued for your arrest.
- Trying to talk your way out of it - Many people believe that if they can tell their side of the story to the police or prosecution, they can “straighten everything out” and clear their name. Unfortunately, this never works. Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you in court. You should not discuss your case with anyone except your lawyer.
- Not getting your driving privileges back - In addition to criminal penalties of DWI, you can also face license suspension under the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program. If you fail a chemical test, or you refuse to submit one upon arrest, a police officer can confiscate your driver’s license and issue you a 40-day temporary driving permit. You will then have 15 days from your arrest to challenge your pending ALR license suspension and request a hearing. If you fail to request a hearing within this time frame, your license will be suspended after 40 days.
- Driving when your license has been suspended - If your license has been taken away, you should never drive. If you are found driving with a suspended license, it could lead to a longer suspension or even a permanent revocation.
- Not hiring an attorney - Whether it is your first or fourth time, hiring a lawyer is a crucial part of protecting your rights and fighting the consequences of a DWI. An attorney can investigate your case, gather evidence, hire expert witnesses, negotiate with the prosecution, and build an effective defense strategy on your behalf. Sometimes people attempt to represent themselves, which can be a huge mistake because the law is extremely complex and takes years to master. You need to a professional on your side who can protect your rights, reputation, and future.
If you have been arrested for a DWI in Fort Worth, our experienced legal team at The Clark Law Firm can help you get the best results possible. Do not hesitate to take the best course of action in order to avoid the harsh consequences of DWI.
For more information, contact us and speak with our Fort Worth criminal defense attorney today.