What Happens When You Get a DWI?

Getting arrested for a DWI can be an emotionally overwhelming experience, especially if it is your first offense. Despite the fact that you made a mistake, you must now be prepared to face the potential consequences of your actions. Understanding the DWI process can help you make the right decisions in order to obtain the most favorable outcome possible and protect your future.

The following are several things that happen when you’re stopped for DWI:

  • Arrest – As soon as you are asked to submit to a chemical test or fail a field sobriety test, you will be placed under arrest. You will then be driven to the station for booking due to suspicion of DWI.
  • Court hearing – Once arrested, you will receive a summons to appear in court. During your court appearance, also known as arraignment, you will be presented with the evidence against you. Furthermore, you will be required to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Driver’s license suspension – Whether your BAC was over the limit or you refused to take a chemical test after an arrest, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended. You may be allowed to apply for a restricted license that will offer a limited amount of driving privileges.
  • Fines – There are several fees associated with DWI which you are required to pay. If convicted, you may be fined up to $200.
  • Jail time – You may serve time in jail for a first offense DWI. If convicted, you may spend up to 60 days in jail.
  • Probation – You may be placed on probation instead of serving jail time. Additionally, you will need to attend a substance abuse program.

If you have been charged with a DWI in North Carolina, request a free consultation with our Raleigh criminal defense lawyers at Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh today. With more than 50 years of combined legal experience, we have successfully defended thousands of cases.


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