DWI FAQ – I was arrested and charged for a DWI; what can I expect?

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If you have been arrested and charged with a DWI in any state, there are several things that you might expect during the procedures and process that follows. In general, what should know right now is that a DWI can be very expensive. Even your first one can cost you $10,000 – $20,000 over the course of a five year period. These costs can include:

  • Court appearances
  • Fines and fees
  • DWI/DUI school
  • Evaluation for problem drinking
  • Mandatory Rehab
  • Higher insurance premiums
  • Interlock ignition installation
  • Reapplying for your driver’s license

A DWI lawyer might be able to reduce your charges or settle them before they go to court. If this is possible, the costs of a DWI can be lower – even with your legal fees. To learn more, call a DWI lawyer now.

What You Can Expect After Being Charged with a DWI

1. You Are Arrested and Booked

If you have been pulled over and arrested by the police for drunk driving, you will be taken to the nearest police station. Here you will be photographed and fingerprinted – also know as being processed. Depending on the state, you may have to stay in jail until you become sober, or you may be released if someone can pay your bail and drive you home.

2. Attend a Court Hearing

When you are charged, the police will give you a summons which lets you know when you have to appear in front of a judge. This can be rather intimidating, but it is mandatory. You do have the right to have a DWI lawyer represent you at this hearing.

3. Your Driver’s License Will Be Revoked

In every state, you will lose your license for a period of time. This is done regardless of what your BAC level was or whether this was your first DWI. It may be possible to apply for a hardship license which will allow you to drive to work or school, but this is not possible in all states. If you refused to take a field sobriety test, you may lose your license for a longer period of time.

4. Pay Your Fines

If you have been convicted, you will be ordered to pay a minimum fine. Depending on whether or not there are mitigating factors, this fine can be enhanced.

5. Be Sentenced to Jail

It is possible that you will be sentenced to jail. The length of your sentence will depend on the state and the offense. It is becoming more common for first time offenders to have to go to jail for one or two days. Repeat offenders almost always have to go to jail.

6. Complete Your Probation

If you were sentenced to jail, you will likely have to complete probation. The terms of your probation will be determined by a judge. If you do not meet these terms, you may be ordered to go back to jail. Examples of these terms may include:

  • Mandatory drug or alcohol tests
  • Community service
  • Weekly visits to your probation officer
  • Mandatory AA or NA meetings

You will have to pay for your probation costs. This is usually a monthly fee that includes the supervision and administration of the service.

7. Go to a Course

Often, if you would like to get your license back, you will need to attend a course, also known as drunk driving school. This is an educational program which will teach you how to avoid drunk driving and assess your drinking habits. You will need to pay for this course.

8. Alcohol Evaluation

During your drunk driving course, a counsellor may evaluate your drinking habits. If they determine that you might have an alcohol dependency, or be a high risk drinker, you may be ordered to partake in an alcohol rehab programme.

In addition to these things, you can expect an increase in your insurance. It is not uncommon for this to be the biggest expenditure. Furthermore, it can last for several years. If you are concerned about these costs, please call a DWI attorney in Virginia.

Thanks to The Lawfirm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and what to expect after a DUI charge.