Mistake #4: Failure to Obtain an Occupational (Temporary) Driver’s License or Failing to Request an Administrative License Review (ALR) Hearing within 15 Days of Your Arrest
When you were arrested, if you refused to take a blood or breath test, or if you submitted to a breath or blood test - indicated a BAC great than .08%, the police probably confiscated your license. The back of the yellow statutory warning forms they gave you (or should have given you) informs you that you have the right to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license by requesting an ALR hearing within 15 days of your arrest.
If you do not make this request, or fail to make it within the prescribed period, you cannot operate a motor vehicle anywhere from 90 to 180 days for a first-time offense unless you have petitioned for and received an Occupational Driver’s License (ODL) from the court. If you do not seek an ODL and you choose to drive during the period of suspension, you are committing another criminal offense at the class B misdemeanor level, equal to a first-time DWI offense. If you are caught, you will be re-arrested and must post bond all over again and have yet another charge to face in court.
Mistake #5: Driving with a Suspended License
If your license is suspended in conjunction with a DWI arrest, you have no right to operate a motor vehicle, period. As noted above, an arrest for driving while your license is suspended (DWLS) falls into the same penalty category as a first-time DWI offense. If convicted of DWLS, you face a minimum driver’s license suspension of one year (on top of any suspension you are already serving), plus you will have to pay additional fines and court costs, and you could be sentenced to as much as six months in jail. Contact us to see if you are a candidate for an ODL. An ODL is a provisional license granted by the court that allows you to drive legally during the suspension period.
Mistake #6: Accepting the First Plea Bargain Offer Made by the District Attorney
Usually the first plea offer made by the prosecution on a DWI case is not a “bargain” at all. It is just a way for them to get a conviction on your case with virtually no effort on their part. Do not have any delusions that your case will be dismissed or possibly reduced to some lesser-included, non-alcohol charge – you have a better chance of winning the lottery. By taking the first plea offer made by the state, you will probably wind up paying higher fine amounts, having more community service hours to do, and a longer period of probation to deal with than a seasoned trial attorney would have been able to negotiate on your behalf.
Remember, you pose no threat to the district attorney. You do not know how to handle a criminal case and the prosecutor knows this, so he or she has no incentive to offer you a great deal. An experienced DWI defense attorney – especially a seasoned trial attorney with a proven track record of success – will almost always be able to get you a significantly better plea offer.
Mistake #7: Failing to Show Up for Required Court Appearances
If you miss a required court date, even if your lawyer is present on your behalf, the judge will revoke your bond (including cash bonds) and issue a warrant for your arrest. So, the next time you are pulled over for some minor traffic violation, instead of just getting a ticket you will be taken to jail, booked again, and have to post yet another bond, usually at twice the amount of the original one, in order to guarantee your future appearance in court.
Mistake #8: Talking to Anyone Other than a Licensed Attorney about Your Case
All communications between you and your attorney about the facts of your case are considered privileged and are protected under the law. Nobody is entitled to know what you tell your attorney. However, anything you say to a friend, a co-worker, or an acquaintance is not privileged and can be used against you in subsequent proceedings.
Mistake #9: Talking to Several Attorneys then Trying to Take Care of Your Case on Your Own
DWIs are expensive, cumulative, and complex in nature. You need an experienced attorney who knows the law, the judges, and the prosecutors to handle it for you. Even if you decide not to hire Underwood & Associates, you should find and retain an attorney with whom you feel comfortable, who you trust, and who you believe will represent your best interests. Take it from us – you will be glad you did!
Mistake #10: Not Hiring Will Underwood to Defend Your DWI Charge
Will Underwood knows the intricacies of DWI law. He understands the science behind the testing instruments, the techniques utilized by the police to create an appearance of intoxication, and the courtroom tactics employed by the prosecutors. The depth and breadth of his knowledge, experience, and expertise in this area of law place Will Underwood in a unique position to provide the best possible defense to those charged with a DWI offense.
Underwood & Associates stands ready to assist you in defending your DWI case. Call our McKinney DWI attorney today at (972) 449-7091 or contact us online.