DWI attorney Washington, DC
If you are facing a DWI charge, you need to be fully aware of the penalties and consequences and how a conviction can affect the rest of your life. Seeking the help of an experienced DWI attorney is critical in having your rights protected during questioning and if the case goes to trial. The penalties you may face will depend on the circumstances around your case and how cooperative you are with the authorities.
Here is what you can expect from a DWI or DUI conviction:
- If this is your first offense and you meet other criteria, your charge may be classified as a misdemeanor and you may still face up to six months of jail time. If your blood alcohol content was over a certain limit may be increased. In many states, you may be required to spend time in jail on your first offense. Additional offenses mean serving longer periods of time in jail.
- Your DWI or DUI can be changed to a felony offense if you seriously injured or killed someone while driving while intoxicated. It can also be changed to a felony if this is the third or fourth time you have been charged with a DWI or DUI. It is up to the judge to determine the amount of time you will spend in jail.
- Not only will you spend time in jail, you will probably be fined as well. It is not uncommon to be fined from $500 to $2,000.
- A conviction for DWI or DUI will probably result in you losing your driving privileges for an amount of time determined by the court. The first offense may cost you your license for 90 days. Additional offenses mean longer periods of time without your license — up to three years for a third offense.
- Refusing to take a breathalyzer, urine or blood test is not a good idea and will usually result in you losing your license regardless of whether or not you are found guilty.
The court may give you permission to drive to and from work or school while your license is suspended. This is called a ‘hardship license’.
There are other steps the state can take to make sure a repeat offender stays off the road. Your car could be confiscated or the registered canceled, either temporarily or even permanently. The state also may install a device called an ignition interlock device to your car. In order for the car to start, you have to breathe into an alcohol sensor unit that is on your dashboard. If your blood alcohol content is below .02 or .04% depending on your state, the car will start. If it is above the required percentage, your car will not start.
A conviction for DWI or DUI stays on your driving record for a long time. Insurance companies may cancel your policy, or at the very least considerably raise your rates. If you get your license suspended your insurance company will probably cancel your policy.
Because the consequences of a DWI or DUI conviction are so serious, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a DWI attorney Washington, DC relies on who is experienced in these types of cases.
Contact The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and penalties for DWI convictions.