It is not illegal to drive a vehicle after drinking alcohol in Arkansas. Arrests for DUI/DWI drunk driving, are based on how much a person has consumed and how impaired they may have appeared. Convictions, however, may hinge on whether the police did their job properly.
Being pulled over by the police and ending up charged with a DWI can be a nasty end to an otherwise fun evening. Anybody can get a DWI – all it takes is a mistake in judgment – but the long-term effects can be harmful well past the end of any probationary term or jail sentence.
There are many issues that can be raised – from whether the officer had a valid reason to stop you to whether the field tests were administered properly to whether proper arrest and formal testing procedures were followed. In addition, we handle the administrative license revocation hearings, helping you to retain your driver’s license if possible.
After serving a sentence and paying a fine, a person convicted of drunk driving is eager to return to life as it was before the charges. In most parts of the U.S., normal living-school, work, other activities- involves driving, and driving requires automobile insurance. While the worst parts of the charge may seem to be behind you, but you are then faced with yet another consequence: trying to obtain automobile insurance after a drunk driving conviction. An experienced defense attorney can explain, and perhaps help you avoid, the range of consequences of a drunk driving conviction.
The biggest mistakes most people make after being arrested for a DWI — and how to avoid them
1. Assuming you will lose the case
Many people charged with DWI believe that they have no chance of winning. Maybe they failed a breath test. Perhaps they think no one will believe they were innocent because there was an open container of alcohol in the car. The truth is that the case against you may not be as solid as you think.
For example, did you know there are many factors that can affect the accuracy of a breath test? Scientific testing has shown that work conditions (such as volatile-chemical exposure), extensive dental work, Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disorder (G.E.R.D.), air-bag deployment, and even a simple fever can yield a “false high” breath-test result. Additionally, breath tests must be performed under strict guidelines. Failure to fully comply with those guidelines renders the results questionable at best.
In other words, breath tests may be thrown out of Court or explained away.
2. Not fighting the automatic suspension of your driver’s license
Under Arkansas law, you have 7 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing and fight to save your driver’s license. Failure to ask for this hearing will result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license.
3. Not taking the matter very seriously
Being charged with DWI is serious. Not only will you be criminally prosecuted, you also risk losing your driver’s license automatically for failing to request your hearing in time. Further, you could be facing probation, jail, and fines and all that is on top of higher vehicle insurance rates.
4. Talking to anyone but an experienced DWI lawyer about your case
Every case is different. Different facts involve different provisions of the law. Friends and family may have had a similar experience, but the DWI laws change so frequently and the penalties have increased so severely, the options available to you may be entirely different from those of others.
5. Driving while your license is suspended
Driving during any suspension is another crime which will result in your arrest and a separate prosecution. Additionally, your license will be suspended again if convicted of this crime.
6. Negotiating a quick plea bargain so that you can “put this case behind you”
Accepting a plea, of any kind, is an admission of guilt and a complete waiver of your constitutional rights. It could lead to jail time and suspension of your license, which means you could lose your job, get behind on bills, and face thousands of dollars in State fees just so you can drive again. It could lead to probation, which means you will have to attend classes, perform community service, report monthly to a probation officer, and pay thousands of dollars in fines, Court costs, and State fees. Probation is a serious disruption of your life. Worse still, if you are caught violating your probation you can be revoked and you could be sentenced to jail.
7. Not hiring a DWI Lawyer
DWI law is not a simple criminal case. It involves civil law, criminal law, administrative law, traffic law, and criminal procedure. You are facing potential jail time and thousands of dollars in fines, Court costs, and surcharges. Without a knowledgeable, experienced DWI lawyer on your side, your ultimate fate is predictable. You will lose! Qualified DWI lawyers can offer you the most choices for the best disposition of your case.
8. Choosing an attorney based solely on cost
The State of Arkansas has charged you with DWI. Our state has almost unlimited resources (attorneys, investigators, police, etc.) to prosecute you. You should expect to pay your lawyer a fair fee based upon his or her time devoted to your case, his or her experience, and his or her reputation. If you choose the lowest price, you will probably receive the lowest amount of attention and expertise. You deserve the best possible defense. Don’t let money be an obstacle. The Law Offices of Woods, Snively & Associates, LLP offers reasonable rates and a payment plan to fit your budget.