What do you do if you’ve been convicted of a DWI charge? When people choose to drive drunk and get into accidents, some of them decide to get away with it. They flee the scene and leave the other driver by themselves.
As a result, the victim is left with devastating damages and injuries. When you get charged with a DWI and plead guilty, you face serious penalties and consequences. Here are a few steps to take after being charged and convicted.
Take the Chemical Test
There are certain steps you should take after you have been convicted of a DWI or DUI charge. First, you should ask for a hearing within 10 days of your arrest. At the hearing, you can choose to have your case tried by a judge or jury.
You will also have the opportunity to choose whether or not to take the chemical test. If you refuse the chemical test, you may be subject to a higher fine or a longer jail sentence.
You should not answer any questions or make any statements to the police without an attorney present. Doing so could be used against you in court. That’s why hiring a DWI attorney as soon as possible should be the next step.
Prioritize Your Court Date
If you have been involved in a DWI arrest, it is important to prioritize your court date. Depending on the severity of the offense, you may be facing jail time, a loss of your license, and/or a fine. Prioritizing your court date will ensure that you do not miss any important deadlines and will allow you to prepare for your case.
Make Arrangements for Transportation
After you have been convicted of a DWI, it is important to make arrangements for transportation. While you wait for your court date, you won’t have a license to get around like you normally would. You may need to rely on public transportation, friends, or family members for rides.
You may also be eligible for a limited driver’s license. Be sure to check with your state’s motor vehicle department for eligibility requirements and application forms.
Prepare for Your Court Appearance
In order to prepare for your court appearance, you will need to obtain a copy of the police report from the arresting officer. This may also include challenging the results of the breathalyzer test or arguing that the stop was illegal. This will help you to understand the charges against you and give you a chance to prepare your defense.
Next, you will need to gather any witnesses who can testify on your behalf. Lastly, you will need to appear in court and present your defense.
Look Your Best
It is very important to take steps to improve your appearance. This may include getting a new haircut, new clothes, and getting in shape. You want to look your best for court appearances. Showing up to court looking like you have given some thought to your overall appearance can make a huge difference.
Conservative apparel can be a great way to show that you understand the importance of the situation and will help mistakes you’ve made look more like an anomaly than a pattern. Take some time the week before your hearing to review your options and pick out an appropriate outfit.
Take the Situation Seriously
The minute you are convicted of a DWI charge, your life will change, and not for the better. You will face legal consequences, including but not limited to fines, license suspension, and even jail time. If this is your first offense, you may be able to get probation instead of jail time, but you will still face other severe penalties.
In addition to the legal consequences, you will also have to deal with the personal and professional implications of having a DWI or DUI conviction on your record. Your insurance rates will go up, you may have trouble finding or keeping a job, and you may have difficulty renting a car or apartment. So you should take the situation seriously and take the necessary steps to minimize the damage to your life.
Try to Show Remorse
In order to try and show remorse, you should reach out to the victim or victims of your crime and express your sincere regret for what you have done. You should also write a letter of apology to the court and to the prosecutor, explaining what happened and why it will never happen again.
Lastly, you should make every effort to comply with your sentence, whether that means attending counseling or therapy sessions, completing community service, or paying any fines or restitution.
Don’t Bring Along Distractions
Being charged with a DUI can be stressful enough for anyone. Add other distractions to this stress, and you can become less present and less alert than you should be.
Distractions include bringing a cell phone or a family member who can be emotional during a court hearing. The less luggage you can bring into court, the more available you will be to respond to questions and help your attorney work through your case.
Let Your Attorney to the Heavy Lifting
It is important to let your attorney do the heavy lifting if you have been convicted of a DWI charge. While you might get nervous in court or addressing the judge hearing your case, it is important to remember that the less the court hears from you, the better. The last thing you want to do is say something inappropriate or too revealing.
Remember that a judge considered your case and your attorney can step in and conduct most of the arguments on your behalf. If you are being addressed directly, you can be ready with factual, succinct answers.
Learn More About a DWI Charge
If you find yourself convicted of a DWI charge, there are some key steps you can take to lessen the penalties and get your life back on track.
First is to look into getting a DWI attorney to help you through the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected. Also, make sure to take care of yourself emotionally and physically during this time, as it can be a difficult and stressful experience.
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