Common Mistakes After a DWI Arrest
After a DWI arrest, it is normal to feel emotionally overwhelmed by the entire situation. Being stressed, frightened, and angry can cloud your judgment, which can cause you to make several common mistakes. Committing a serious mistake can result in a conviction, which means jail time, fines, and even license suspension.
The following are the most common mistakes to avoid after a DWI arrest:
- Assuming guilt – Just because you got arrested doesn’t mean you are guilty. North Carolina DWI laws are both harsh and complex, and oftentimes people charged with drunk driving will have a wide variety of defenses available. Even if you were driving above the legal limit, there are a number of ways an attorney can challenge the results of the chemical test and how the police administered the test.
- Failing to take the matter seriously – Since DWI is considered a misdemeanor, some people dismiss it when they face a first-time offense, failing to understand the gravity of the offense. The truth is that a DWI conviction can follow a person for the remainder of their life. Additionally, the punishments are quite serious (as mentioned above).
- Driving on a suspended license – If your license was suspended after being arrested, you must not continue driving your vehicle until the matter is resolved. Although it may be tempting because you need to commute work or school, getting caught driving with a suspended license—after having been charged with a DWI—can result in increased fines and more jail time.
- Missing important dates – Time is of the essence once you have been arrested. If you wait too long to take legal action, you may risk losing your driving privileges for an extended period of time or lose the opportunity to use evidence which can aid your case.
- Failing to remember your rights – Upon arrest, you have the right to remain silent since anything you say can and will be used against you. You may believe that you can explain your way out of an arrest through the power of persuasion, but in most cases, doing so will only do more damage to your case.
- Not hiring a lawyer – Speaking of rights, you have the right to obtain legal counsel. Although it may be tempted to let a public defender protect your rights and best interests, they often have heavy caseloads and aim to seek plea deals, rather than obtain a not-guilty verdict. Additionally, hiring a private attorney who offers a significantly cheap rate is typically not the better option. You want to hire a private lawyer who specializes in DWI defense, and is actively representing clients charged with DWI since they can provide the most accurate and helpful advice to determine the best course of action for your case.
With more than 50 years of combined experienced, our Raleigh DWI attorneys at Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh understand what it takes to get the most favorable outcome possible. Our legal team has defended thousands of criminal cases, especially those concerning DWI. As former prosecutors, we can anticipate how the prosecution will approach your case and build an effective defense strategy.
For more information, call (919) 887-8040 today to schedule your free initial consultation.