On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in DWI / DUID on Thursday, January 26, 2017.
Many drivers throughout the St. Louis area have likely been pulled over by the police and can attest to the feelings of anxiety and fear the experience provokes. For numerous reasons, it’s completely normal to be nervous when you’re pulled over and questioned by the police. In cases where it becomes apparent that a police officer suspects that you are somehow impaired, the experience can quickly escalate and become downright terrifying.
If a traffic stop ends with you being arrested and facing criminal charges related to DWI or DUID, you need to understand the penalties you face as well as your available options.
What Penalties Will You Face?
The criminal penalties you face are largely determined by the criminal charge(s) filed against you. For example, a first-time offender will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor whereas a driver with multiple DWI convictions who is involved in a fatal traffic accident could face a Class A felony charges. The following factors are also taken into account when determining criminal charges and penalties:
- Driver’s age
- Number of prior DWI/DUID convictions
- Driver’s BAC level
- Number and age(s) of passengers in vehicle
- Whether any injuries or deaths resulted
Why You Need A DWI Defense Attorney
Even if this is your first DWI, you will be subject to harsh penalties that can negatively and severely impact your life. Your driver’s license will be suspended, you could spend time in jail, you’ll likely be forced to pay hundreds of dollars in fines, your insurance rates will skyrocket and you will have a criminal record. In cases where you are facing more serious or felony DWI or DUID charges, the penalties and resulting personal and financial losses are even more serious.
Despite what some people may believe, DWI or DUID cases are not simple or an easy win for prosecutors. To the contrary, they can be exceeding complex and hiring the right defense attorney can determine whether charges are dismissed or reduced or whether you go to jail, lose your driver’s license and are forced to pay thousands of dollars in fines.
What Your Defense Attorney Needs To Know
Because drunk driving cases can be incredibly complex, it’s important to thoroughly examine and investigate any and all issues related to your case. Depending on your situation and the specific circumstances surrounding your case, the following questions are among those that your attorney may ask:
- What reason did an officer provide for pulling you over?
- What questions did an officer ask and how did you respond?
- What types of field sobriety tests were you asked to complete?
- Were you taking any medications at the time of your arrest?
- Do you have a physical disability or were you suffering from an injury or ailment when you were arrested?
- Did an officer administer a Breathalyzer test?
Based on the answers you provide to these and other follow-up questions, your defense attorney will build a defense strategy to challenge and dispute the prosecution’s claims and to promote your best interests.