Driving While Intoxicated

What You Need to Know in One Page...

If You Are Charged With DWI You Should Take It Very Seriously.

A DWI charge can dramatically impact your life.

A DWI Conviction can hurt you FOREVER! Your privilege to drive will be impacted and you may even lose your car, you will have a much more difficult time getting a new job (or you may lose your current job) and your insurance rates will go up substantially.

What is Driving While Intoxicated?

Driving While Intoxicated (or DWI for short) is the crime charged for driving a motor vehicle while your ability to drive is impaired by alcohol or other substances to the slightest degree. You do not have to be falling down drunk to be convicted! In fact, very little alcohol can cause you to be arrested and charged with DWI.

How DWI Charges Get Filed

DWI charges are almost always filed by the Police after a traffic stop or traffic accident. After talking with the driver, if the officer suspects that the driver has been drinking (or is impaired by drugs), he will do further investigation to determine if the person’s driving is impaired. If the officer believes a person’s driving is impaired, he will make an arrest and charge the person with DWI and all the traffic violations that he believes have occurred. The Driver is always taken to jail (or hospital) after a DWI arrest.

The Penalties for DWI

Court imposed Penalties for a FIRST TIME DWI conviction can be up to 90 days in jail and a $500 Fine. A second or third offense carries a penalty of up to 364 days in jail and a $1000 fine, Fourth and Subsequent DWI convictions can be Felony offenses and can carry PRISON terms. All DWI Convictions have terms of probation that include counseling, drug testing, and community service. If convicted, you will be required to install an interlock device in any vehicle you drive. In addition to the criminal penalties, many cities have programs to take your car away and sell it in a civil proceeding.

What You Need to do Right Away

The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your legal rights is to contact an experienced attorney that handles DWI cases as soon as possible. There are strict time limits you must follow to avoid losing your privilege to drive and you will be required to appear in court very soon after your arrest. If your car has been seized (taken by the city) you need to take immediate action to request a hearing or you will lose your vehicle without any further notices. The legal system can be both complex and confusing and there are many rules that you need to follow to avoid additional difficulties.

The best way to help yourself is to contact an experienced DWI attorney immediately.

Contact Robert Bernstein, Attorney at Law at: (505)269-3999 or fill out the form on this website with your inquiry.