Being charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a very stressful experience. Afterwards, you may not know what to do or the appropriate next steps to take, particularly if you have never faced these types of charges before. The steps you take immediately after being charged are important though, as they can impact whether you can drive or whether you will eventually be convicted. Below, our Ouachita Parish DWI and DUI lawyer explains the four most important steps to take.
Speak to an Attorney
DWI charges are very serious and if you are convicted, you will live with many serious consequences for years to come. An Ouachita Parish DWI lawyer will know the different defenses available, such as challenging Breathalyzer results, or any search conducted of you or your vehicle. Many people do not have the legal knowledge to successfully defend their own case, which is why speaking to an attorney is so important.
Know Your Rights
Being pulled over or charged with a DUI is scary, but it is important to remember that you still have rights. These include the right to remain silent and the right to be protected against unlawful search and seizures. You should always remain silent after being pulled over, and never admit to the officer that you have been drinking, as this can serve as probable cause to arrest you. Also never consent to a search of your vehicle. The officer may tell you that you have to give permission for a search, but this is never true. On the other hand, if you do consent, the search becomes a legal one, which can seriously hurt your case.
Make Alternative Transportation Arrangements
After being charged with a DWI, your driver’s license will be suspended for anywhere between six months to one year. You may be able to apply for a hardship license that will allow you to drive to school or work, but there is no guarantee that you will get one. In the meantime, you should make alternative transportation arrangements with friends, family members, or using public transit so you can still get around.
Prepare for Two Different Cases
After being charged with a DWI, most people know that they will have to prepare for a criminal case. This involves different court appearances and possibly a trial during which a judge or jury will determine if you are guilty. This is not the only legal case you must prepare for, though. You will also have to prepare for your administrative hearing, during which you can fight the suspension of your driver’s license. You only have 30 days to request an administrative hearing, however, so it is best to speak to a lawyer right away who can help you prepare for it.
Our DWI & DUI Lawyer in Ouachita Parish Can Help with Your Charges
After being arrested for drunk driving, the best thing you can do for your case is to contact our Ouachita Parish DWI & DUI lawyer at Whiddon Criminal Defense. Our seasoned attorney knows how to help you beat the charges so you can retain your driver’s license, and your freedom. Call us now at 318-594-3592 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.