It is natural and healthy for busy people to take a breather once in a while just to heave their shoulders of the stress and pressure from work. During weekends, bars and clubs are usually teeming with party-goers who are looking to unwind and mingle with their peers. Some of them even tend to get too caught up in all the fun and merriment that they lose control of their drinking. Before they know it, they have already become too inebriated to drive, and too inebriated to realize that they are not supposed to be driving in such state.
Drunk driving is usually one of the most common and often taken for granted criminal offenses. This is because many people are leaned towards believing that they can easily get away from it. However, getting caught because of drunk driving can turn out to be really inconvenient especially if you’re one who needs to drive everyday in order to be more efficient and productive in your work. DWI charges usually result in a suspension of at least 30 days. Can you imagine being banned from driving for an entire month?!
How long will one have to face the consequences of a DWI case?
However, the duration at which one can be suspended from driving would depend on the number of offenses he has incurred, meaning the suspension period can even go beyond thirty days. For the first conviction, suspension may be effective for thirty days, after which the convicted will then be given a 60-day restricted driving privilege. Reinstatement of his license may be given after a total of 90 days – given that he has secured all of the requirements. Meanwhile, a second offense committed within an interval of at least five years since the first offense will cause a person’s driving license to be revoked for twelve months. Two consecutive offenses incurred within five years will result in a five-year denial of the person’s driving license.
On the other hand, three or more alcohol offenses will repudiate a person’s driving privilege for a decade. Furthermore, restoration of such privilege may only be attained by court order.
The right time to call for a lawyer
So when is it time to call for a DUI attorney in your area, say, a new Orleans DWI attorney? Some legal experts say that chances are high that one can be spared from conviction as long as it is his first time to commit an alcohol offense. However, on the second offense, he may already need the help of a good DWI lawyer who can pull the strings so that the degree of punishment can be reduced.
According to experts, a person should call for legal representation as soon as police authorities start probing about the incident, his address, and his last meal or drink taken. Politely shun those questions and ask to be represented by an attorney. This will enable the lawyer to provide substantial evidence to disprove alcohol charges later on.
Defendant’s right to refuse taking sobriety tests
One should also refuse to take field sobriety tests such as finger-to-nose walk and walk-the-line drills. Similarly, a person who is flagged down by the police should refuse to be subjected to a Breathalyzer test. This is because according to many legal experts, these tests are often inaccurate and could only end you up in trouble, putting at stake your license and your insurance premiums as well.
The role of a DWI lawyer is crucial in the entire process. From the moment you reach the custody of the police to the courtroom, he will ensure that you are fairly litigated and as much as possible retain your driving privileges and your insurance premium. He will do this by collating all the smallest and seemingly trivial facts involved such as the type of shoes you were wearing, and/or the road incline on which the tests were taken. Presenting all these circumstances will have a huge impact on how the judge or jury will see your case.
Don’ts when facing DWI charges
However, one must not wholly count on the possibility of being spared from all the consequences entailed in an alcohol offense. While a good lawyer may be capable of smoothing out the creases for you, it can be difficult to disprove the allegations under certain circumstances. Take for instance; you waited too long before hiring an attorney. Remember that every thing you say will be used by the opposing party to your disadvantage. By the time you are being heard in court, it might already be too late to take back everything you had said. Acquittal can also be difficult to attain especially if you continue to drive even after charges have been pressed. It is thereby important that as you strongly assert your rights in the process, you also respect the law. Otherwise, you will only be adding fuel to the fire and consequently lose your license – that is on top of having to face higher insurance premiums.
True, it can be a huge inconvenience to face DWI charges. However with good knowledge of the law and your rights as the defendant, you can suffer less and be given another chance to straighten out the bad situation.
Cedric Loiselle is an experienced writer who enjoys imparting useful information to many readers. The topics he usually writes about include finance, home improvement, health, as well as legal issues.