You made a mistake. Maybe you had just a few drinks and felt okay to drive. Maybe you were extremely drunk and weren’t in the right frame of mind to know you were way past the legal limit. No matter what the situation was, you made the decision to drive, got pulled over by a cop, had more than the legal limit of alcohol in your system and received a DWI. Now what?
The way you proceed after this point depends heavily on whether or not you are a repeat offender. Drinking and driving is more serious than a regular traffic ticket, so it is important that you understand what your sentence will be before simply going before a judge and pleading guilty. Seeking advice from a DWI attorney should be your first step before making any decisions. There are a number of factors that can affect your sentencing, and the best way to navigate them is through an attorney who knows the ins and outs of the courtroom. They understand the facts of your conviction, and they will be able to advise you on whether or not it would be a good idea to plead guilty or to do a little sentence bargaining, in which you will need to hire them for more extensive help.
Time is of the essence when dealing with a DWI. You will want to consult with an attorney who specializes in this area as soon as possible to determine what deadlines you need to be aware of and ready for. There are two areas that you will generally be charged in, criminal and administrative. Administrative deals with your driver’s license and driving privileges, while criminal deals with your criminal record and can also affect your driving privileges. You will want an attorney to make sure you have all your bases covered as far as meeting crucial deadlines to receive minimum sentencing.
In addition to keeping you on track and helping you consider the various facts regarding your case, the DWI attorney will also ensure that your rights have not been violated in any way. If they have, the attorney will ensure that all incriminating evidence was obtained in a legal manner. This can be extremely important, especially if you are planning to take part in sentence bargaining.
Attorneys are also appealing in DWI cases due to their ability to convince judges to take your personal qualities into consideration when determining the sentence or the charges that go on your record. This may not be beneficial if you already have varying offences on your record, but if you generally don’t get into trouble, this could be valuable in making your case for a sentence reduction.
In short, an attorney is a necessity in DWI cases. Not only can they assist you in preparing for court, but they can also help immensely when it comes to bargaining for a less harsh sentence. If you find yourself with a DWI, at least contact a local attorney for an initial consultation and decide from there whether or not an attorney is right for your case.
Written by Kellie Bertels, an attorney with the firm Bandré, Hunt & Snider, LLC where they are the leading dwi attorneys in Jefferson City MO.