czwartek, 19 lipca 2007

DWI Arrest information and your rights by Purva Mewar

DWI is known by many different names and abbreviations. DWI is Driving While Intoxicated, DUI - Driving Under Influence, OUI - Operating under Influence, Drunk Driving and so on. DWI is governed by State Laws. Therefore, terminology differs from State to State. In this article we will specifically discuss laws and punishments related to DWI arrest, your rights if you are charged with DWI and how to get yourself a competent DWI Defense Attorney.

To start with - DWI is a very very serious offense. An alarming number of Americans lose lives every year because of drunk drivers. The DWI Laws are very strict and if you are arrested with DWI charges, it can damage the rest of your life in a big way. DWI arrest can have very serious consequences. A bad police record is something you will have to live with if convicted. If not convicted you end up spending thousands of dollars over various things including DWI attorney fee. Either way there is bound to be criminal waste of countless number of hours visiting police station, meeting up with your Probationary Officer from time to time, volunteering community service, attending alcohol education classes, filling up forms at various stages and what not.. the ordeal is tiring, sometimes meaningless and humiliating. When you are caught under DWI suspicion, you are taken to the jail by the officer who has made the arrest and until you are allowed to make a call and your DWI attorney releases you on bail, you are actually in the jail cell (sharing the cell with one more criminal) in clothes provided by the jail, eating jail food, sleeping on hard jail matress. It traumatizes the person arrested under DWI. Immediately after DWI arrest you lose your right to drive, unless court grants you Occupational License, which comes with conditions such as observing speed limits and driving in limited areas etc. All this, if you get Occupational License. If you don't there is no issue. No driving your kids to school, or your parents to the nearby hospital. Immobility breaks your back. How will you drive to your job? There are instances when people have lost their jobs as a result of their DWI arrest. There are countries that don't allow people with DWI records against them.

Coming to your rights, as you are arrested under DWI charges, the first thing is to make sure the officer has not followed you to your destination/home without you being informed of it. You have a right to know your rights under the circumstances by the police officer arresting you. It is not your right to refuse BAC Test. If you do, your license may be suspended. Later on if it is found that your faculties were not impaired, your case will be dismissed but the status of your license will not change as you refused to co-operate with the arresting officer. You have a right to hire an attorney to fight your DWI case. Which brings us to our third point. How to find a competent DWI attorney.

First thing, if you are arrested under DWI - don't try to be your own attorney. Let a qualified professional handle it. Try to look for an attorney who practices only DWI cases and belongs to the same state where the DWI arrest has happened. Check out the website of your attorney if he has any. Check out his past DWI records. Talk to people whose cases this DWI attorney has handled. If DWI is one of the areas of your DWI attorney's practice, it is less likely that he will be aware of every aspect related to DWI. Where as if you choose your DWI attorney who practices say Austin DWI cases exclusively, he will approach and handle the DWI arrest much better. Start the process of looking for a DWI attorney fast as you have only 15 days to get one after your arrest. The whole DWI arrest process can take anywhere form 6 months to 3 years. Once the case is over you will have to pay an yearly fee of $1000 for next three years to up keep your driving license.

One can save oneself from all this torture torture by always driving sober.Once you are arrested under DWI charges, there is nothing you can do. No excuses work. No short cuts, no second chance. Let's better be sober than sorry!

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