About 1.1 million drivers were arrested for a DUI charge in 2014, says the Huffington Post. If you’re in the same boat and you’ve been charged with a DWI (driving while intoxicated), here are a few things you’ll need to know before you move forward:
You’ll need a lawyer
If you’ve been charged for the first time and there weren’t any casualties or injuries sustained from the accident, then you can probably wing this on your own. However, dealing with the fines and attending the hearings or even requesting for one in the first place can be complicated. By hiring a DWI lawyer to take care of all that, you won’t have to worry about finding the right channels to send your request or putting together your defense on your own.
You’ll pay thousands in fines
A DWI charge is typically classified as a class A or B misdemeanor when it’s the first offense. A class A is filed in the absence of a blood or breath test. A class B is filed if you need to be confined for no less than 72 hours or more than 180 days. A class B misdemeanor also comes with a fine that can go up to $2,000 and the possibility of being under probation for 2 years. What if yours has classified as a class A misdemeanor with a breath or blood test? Ask your lawyer how much you can expect in fines and jail time.
You can get a reduced charge
With a competent DWI lawyer, you have a better chance of reducing your sentence and fines. That means less costs for you. It can also substitute jail time for probation or doing community service which is better than finding yourself behind bars.
Your lawyer handles the details
Your lawyer will request copies of police reports and witness statements along with any videos or evidence that the prosecutor has that could reduce your sentence or absolve you of the charges.