Being charged with a DWI or other alcohol/drug related driving offense can be a terrifying experience. Being charged with a DWI will affect various aspects of your life including its impact on your license, financial circumstances, employment, and treatment if applicable. However, you are not alone.
It is estimated that each year millions of people drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. There are numerous statistics regarding DWIs that can be found on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.
People of all different social-economic backgrounds are charged with a DWI or drug-related driving offense each day. A police officer can stop your vehicle absent swerving or reckless driving for a variety of other reasons not anticipated.
Regardless of your background or circumstances, the fact remains that once you are charged with a DWI the legal process of your case begins. If you are now searching for a DWI defense attorney you will have already experienced a few aspects of a DWI case including the police officer’s investigation, field sobriety tests, the arrest, the taking or refusing of a chemical test, and the booking process.
You will have also received a notice to appear in court. It is important that you contact an attorney to review your case prior to the next court date. You should consider the following when choosing the right attorney for you; what area of law does the attorney focus his/her practice in, are they familiar with the court in which you are charged with a DWI, are they familiar with the District Attorney’s Office procedures and policies, can they explain the legal process involving a DWI case, and can they answer all of your questions.
At your initial consultation with an attorney you should bring any paperwork that was provided to you by either the police officer or the court if applicable. If only uniform traffic tickets were provided then an attorney will not be able to provide a complete analysis of your case. However he or she should be able to answer most questions related to your case. If a DWI supporting deposition/bill of particulars was provided then a more thorough analysis can be conducted.
Some issues that you should discuss at your initial consultation include why the officer stopped your vehicle, whether there was an accident, what field sobriety tests were conducted, your discussions and interaction with the police officer, whether you took or refused the chemical test, your BAC, your employment and driving needs, and the next steps to expect in your case.
If this is your first alcohol/drug related driving offense, you will likely be eligible for a hardship license at the time of arraignment. In order for your attorney to effectively make application to the court for that relief, you should provide him or her with supporting documentation regarding your employment and other driving needs including but not limited to pay stubs, school curriculum, or treatment letter if applicable.
Next the attorney should gather pertinent information regarding the circumstances surrounding your unique DWI case. Again, the DWI supporting deposition/bill of particulars will provide your attorney with much of the information needed. However your version of the events that occurred are just as important.
After a thorough and accurate evaluation of your case, your attorney should explain your options going forward including any applicable defenses.
An initial DWI attorney consultation should leave you feeling more informed and less terrified than when you walked into the attorney’s office. Regardless of whether you hire that particular attorney you should have a better understanding of your case and what to expect next.
If you’ve been charged with DWI/drug related driving offense contact attorney Jason Henskee for a free consultation to review your case and to provide you with the information you need.
JASON C. HENSKEE, ESQ.
September 19, 2016