In the majority of states, a driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction may remain on your record for up to a decade. Being arrested for a DWI is a very serious offense, that can come along with several ramifications. Statistically, more than a million drivers are arrested for driving while impaired by alcohol every single year. Those who have found themselves in handcuffs and now face a DWI charge, may want to hire a lawyer immediately for advice and protection. Sometimes, the person who committed a simple misjudgement, may not deserve to endure the heavy-handed punishments of a criminal court judge.
Q: What are the consequences for a DWI conviction?
A: A person who is arrested for driving while intoxicated, may have his or her life flipped upside down. The accused may have certain privileges revoked, endure financial hardships, and loss of freedom. The repercussions for a DWI conviction depend on various factors, including whether anyone was hurt, property was damaged, if the accused has a criminal history, and how much alcohol was in his or her system. Examples of potential ramifications for a DWI charge can involve:
- Conviction remaining on record for 5-10 years or for life (depending on what state you live in)
- Tarnished reputation among friends, family, employer, and community
- Having to serve community service hours
- Paying substantial fines, penalties, and court fees
- Increased insurance rates
- Challenges finding employment opportunities
- Time spent in jail
Q: Does each state have its own laws pertaining to DWI offenses?
A: Yes, not all states are the same when it comes to processing a DWI offense and what repercussions are to be served for the wrongdoing. Perhaps the most resourceful way to find out what laws pertain to your situation, is to ask for help from a criminal defense lawyer in your area. A lawyer can offer information as well as represent you during the court trial. In general, here are some facts to consider when learning about your state laws:
- Many states use a point system to track your driving habits, and once you have enough you may be at-risk for a suspended license
- Insurance companies also use their own internal point system when pricing how much you pay in monthly or yearly car insurance premiums
- Some states give points to offenses related to intoxicated driving, while others choose harsher punishments. Instead of points, a state may automatically revoke the person’s license
Q: Is it required that I have a lawyer represent me?
A: While it may not be required that you have a lawyer represent you, it may be a good idea. The average person does not understand the complexity and inner workings of the justice system. Being arrested and facing a criminal conviction can be terrifying enough, so walking into the courtroom to talk to the judge without a legal professional to support you can be a dizzying experience. A reckless driving lawyer Fairfax, VA offers can help devise a strategy in hopes of minimizing your charges, or having the arrest dropped.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Dave Albo – Attorney for their insight into DWI charges and your record.