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What to Expect When You are Charged With a DWI

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What to Expect When You are Charged With a DWI

What to Expect When You are Charged With a DWI

It happened. You were on your way home after having a few drinks when you heard the police siren and saw the flashing lights in your rearview mirror. After the officer approached your window and took your information, they determined you were impaired and charged you with driving while intoxicated (DWI). It is a scary moment, and you may not know what to expect next. Below, our Missouri criminal defense lawyer explains what will happen next, and how to protect your rights.

Will You Go to Jail?

After charging you with a DWI, the officer will likely take you into custody. This is often the scariest moment for many people. However, there are ways to get out of the situation. You may be able to pay bail, get a bondsman, who is then repaid once your case is closed, or you may even be able to get out using only your signature. Regardless of how you get out of custody, you will have to promise to appear in court.

Your Driver’s License

The officer that arrested you likely took your driver’s license from you at the time of the arrest. They will also give you a small piece of paper that states you can drive for a few days. If you do not take any action at this point, you will lose your driver’s license for at least 30 days. You may even lose it for as long as one year, even if this is your first offense. 

A criminal defense lawyer can file a motion with the court so that you can keep your license for a little longer, or that will prevent you from losing it at all. If you are not successful with this motion, you may be eligible for a hardship license that will allow you to drive to school or work.

The Arraignment

Your trial will not start the first day you appear in court. You will first attend an arraignment, which only allows the judge to tell you what you have been charged with. A judge will also tell you what the next step is. It is important that you are working with a lawyer who can appear at your arraignment with you. If you do not, simply say “Not guilty” at this point, even if you plan on pleading guilty later.

Plea vs. Trial

Before your case goes to trial, the prosecution will likely offer you a plea deal. They may reduce your charges, and the penalties associated with them, in exchange for a guilty plea. Whether or not you accept a deal or go to trial is something you should decide with your criminal defense lawyer.

Call Our Criminal Defense Lawyer in Missouri Now

If you have been charged with a DWI recently, our Missouri criminal defense lawyer can help you prepare for what comes next. Scott A. Hamblin can advise you of the possible defenses available, and use them to give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

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