Important Steps to Follow with a DWI Charge
Getting charged with a DWI can come with serious consequences. Depending on the specifics, you may face fines, jail time, probation time, and/or a license suspension. To minimize the negative consequences of your DWI charge, there are certain important actions you should take immediately.
Don’t Provide Too Many Details
Remember that you have the right to remain silent. You can choose to provide the officers with additional information, such as how many drinks you had. Just remember that anything you say can hurt your outcome. So, while it may make sense to be honest if you are not under the influence, you may want to deflect the question if you drank or are otherwise impaired.
Document Everything Immediately After
Details become crucial in DWI cases, with many cases being won or lost due to seemingly insignificant details. As such, you should take the time to document everything that happened right after it occurred.
The simplest method is to write down everything. This should include where and when you were stopped, why the officer said they stopped you, and any tests they performed. Specify if they administered a breath test. If you made any phone calls, write down who and what time. If you don’t have a pen and paper, you could also make a video to show all of the above. Keep in mind that if you are impaired, this may come across in the video and could hurt your case.
Don’t Refuse the Chemical Test
You are within your rights to refuse field sobriety tests, but you cannot refuse to take a chemical test that checks your blood alcohol level. Refusing this test would reflect very poorly on you and significantly hurt your chances of winning your case.
Make Your Social Media Private
It may not seem like a major factor, but this is also the time to turn your social media profiles private if they aren’t already. This is because prosecutors frequently scour social media pages in search of incriminating posts, photos, or videos. They cherry-pick posts out of context and frame them in a way that makes you look bad. If you keep your social media pages public, you essentially give the prosecutor more chances to incriminate you.
Talk to Witnesses
Think about who you interacted with on the day in question and see who could be a witness. Witnesses are especially useful if they were with you during the stop or saw you immediately before or after it.
Once someone agrees to be your witness, have that person write down everything that occurred. This prevents prosecutors from pointing out that memories deteriorate over time.
Arrange a DMV Hearing
If you do not arrange a DMV hearing following your DWI charges, your license will be suspended automatically. With a hearing, however, you may be able to prevent its suspension until your case is finalized.
Hire a Lawyer
One of your early actions should be to hire a lawyer with experience in DWI cases such as Botsford and Roark. Be sure to choose an attorney with this specialization or experience, as DWI cases are incredibly complicated. There are also specific rules regarding the alcohol tests and other common pieces of evidence, which your lawyer can navigate.
Contact Botsford and Roark for a free consultation on your case. They will help you every step of the way. 512-476-1900.