Saturday, November 18, 2017

Mitigating Mistakes: How to Handle a DWI as a Responsible Adult

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious crime that can result in expensive fines, a suspended driver’s license, mandatory DWI classes and significantly higher insurance rates. 

There’s also the possibility of jail-time, although that is rare for a first offense. Although you likely wish you hadn’t gotten behind the wheel in the first place, there’s no way to change the past. 

All you can do is move forward and improve your situation. Here’s the best way for you to handle a DWI charge responsibly.

Hire a Lawyer

You have a few options when it comes to how you handle the legal consequences of your DWI charge. 

You can simply plead guilty right away and put yourself at the mercy of the court, which is a bad move. You can go with a public defender who is probably overworked. Or you can hire a skilled DWI attorney, which is by far the best option.

Your DWI attorney will give you the best chance at success in your case. If you’re lucky, they may find something in your favor, such as the police officer not having probable cause to suspect you of DWI in the first place. 

Even if your lawyer can’t get the charges dismissed, they can negotiate the best deal for you.

Attend DWI Classes

If you got a DWI, it means that your drinking caused you to behave recklessly and irresponsibly. While the DWI itself may seem like a wakeup call, you should still enroll in DWI classes for two important reasons.

The first reason is that the court will probably require you to take DWI classes as part of your punishment. Failure to do so could result in jail-time or other penalties. The second reason is that DWI classes can help you make better decisions in the future. 

Don’t just go to your classes to get credit for doing so. They’re a good learning opportunity, and it’s smart to pay attention.

Work on Getting Your Driver’s License Back

Your license will most likely end up suspended after you’re found guilty of DWI or possibly before, depending on your state, and it could be suspended for six months, one year or longer. 

You can get it back in as little time as possible by complying with any terms the court sets for you. This will typically include taking those DWI classes and paying off your fines.

You may be able to start driving again sooner if you agree to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. 

With an ignition interlock device, you must blow into it before you can start your car, and sometimes while you are driving, as well. Check with an Austin DWI lawyer to see if this is an option.

Understand That a DWI Can Be an Emotional Rollercoaster

A DWI is a major life event that can affect people in a variety of different ways. It could leave you feeling depressed and ashamed of yourself. 

Or, you could feel angry at the fact that you have a suspended license, especially if you need to drive for your everyday commute.

What’s most important if you experience any intense emotions after your DWI is that you understand that things will turn around. 

Even though a DWI can be a major hassle to deal with, if you do your part, you’ll be able to get your life back in order.

It’s a bit of a shock when you’re charged with DWI, and it can leave you wondering what to do. Stick to the steps above and you can resolve your DWI as painlessly as possible.

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