1.5 million people a year are arrested for driving under the influence. If you’re part of that statistic, you need to understand what to do next for the best outcome for yourself and your family.
In this blog post, we’ll walk you through what to do after a DWI arrest. You must consider your outcomes carefully and understand that things may be different for you depending on if you’ve been arrested for a DWI previously.
Read on to help you decide what your next steps are.
Find a Way Home
After you’ve been arrested for a DWI, you’ll either spend the night in jail or you’ll be sent home as long as you can pay bail. You’ll need to find a way home that doesn’t involve getting behind the wheel. You may need to call a friend, family member, or a taxi company to take you home.
Make Arrangements to Get Your Car Home
If your car was left in a parking lot or on the side of the road after your arrest, you’ll need to arrange to have it sent home. If you’re still able to drive, as in you haven’t had your license revoked, you may be able to drive it yourself. But you must be fully clean and sober before you do so.
If you’ve lost your license, you may need to have it towed home or to have a friend or family member get your vehicle. In some cases, it may have been impounded, so you’ll need to pick it up from there.
Know Your Court Date
Before you leave jail, you’ll be given a court date. You must make this date, especially if you paid bail. If you did pay bail and you don’t make the court date, you may find yourself out of the money. Additionally, you will only make things worse in the eyes of the law if you do not show up to your court date, as it shows you don’t take it seriously.
Hire a Lawyer If Necessary
You may need a lawyer to help you, especially if this is your second or third DWI arrest. You can start off by Googling, “DWI lawyer near me,” and go from there. It can be difficult to know who to hire, but you can look at their reviews as well as ask around. You may also wish to make a shortlist of lawyers, describe your case to them, and see what they feel your best plan of action is. The lawyer you feel you get along with the best and whose plan of action you like the best may be your best bet.
You should also be sure that any lawyer you plan to hire is part of the American Bar Association or ABA and does not have any penalties. A bad lawyer will cost you monetarily and in court.
Appear in Court
You need to ensure that you make your court date and appear there. Dress appropriately and act as though you understand that what you have done is serious and has potentially life-threatening consequences. Do not smirk or act in any way that you do not take the court date seriously.
Your lawyer may be able to help prepare you for court as well. They can better advise you on what to wear and how to act, as this may also be down to how many DWIs you’ve had.
Get Proper Car Insurance
Your car insurance will likely cancel your policy after you’ve been given a DWI. If you still have your license, you’ll need to ensure you have full insurance before you get behind the wheel again. This means that you’ll need to fill out an SR-22 form and may need to find a new auto insurance company or at least take out a new policy. This may be more expensive and could be contingent on what the judge says at your court date.
Do “Your Time”
If you’re convicted of a DWI, there will be some type of punishment. Depending on your history, this may include suspension of your license, heavy fines, community service, probation, or time behind bars. The latter will likely only occur if your DWI is in tandem with another crime or you’ve been found guilty of a string of DWIs. Do what the court asks of you without complaining or giving them trouble. Being on your best behavior is the best way to get this incident behind you and for you to move on with your life.
Seek Alternate Transportation
If your license was suspended, you’ll need to find alternate transportation for the duration of its suspension. This may be anything from taking public transportation to taking taxis or Ubers everywhere. It is imperative that you do not drive on a suspended license, as this can bring about even more trouble than you had previously.
After a DWI Arrest
After a DWI arrest, it is important to show that you are contrite and understand what you did wrong. It is also vital that you make sure this never happens again. If this is your first conviction, do everything you can to ensure it is your only conviction. You likely already know that drunk driving can cost lives, and that includes your own.
For more legal tips and advice, be sure to check out the rest of our site. We have everything you need to ensure you’re living your very best life.