Being arrested for a DWI can be stressful. From the arrest to trial to incarceration to fines, there are also long-term ramifications such as higher insurance premiums, loss of drivers’ license, vehicle impoundment, loss of job, and other civil penalties which can occur. It becomes imperative for motorists who are arrested for DWI to familiarize themselves with the most common mistakes motorists make following a DWI arrest—and to avoid them.
- Failing to take the matter seriously.
A DWI is a serious charge that will follow you for the rest of your life. In addition to fines, potential civil suits, and increased insurance premiums, a DWI can cast you thousands of dollars.
- Failing to hire an experienced Minnesota DWI attorney.
Minnesota DWI law is complicated and competent legal representation is crucial to ensure that potential exculpatory evidence is not lost.
- Choosing an attorney based on fee alone.
Because the state of Minnesota has considerable resources to prosecute inebriated drivers, it makes sense that you retain an attorney who is best able to present your defense. Skimping on legal representation based on low fee may mean that your attorney may not be adequately knowledgeable or experienced to provide you the best possible defense.
- Waiting too long to hire a lawyer.
It is best to hire an attorney as soon as possible after being arrested for DWI not only to give him/her adequate time to prepare your DWI defense but also to identify and protect valuable evidence.
- Thinking you don’t need a lawyer.
DWI law is increasingly complicated and requires a competent and experienced attorney to properly defend his/her client. A DWI is not a parking ticket that you can somehow talk your way out of.
- Failing to comply with state driver’s license laws or driving on a suspended or revoked license.
- Failing to understand and/or take advantage of your constitutional rights.
- Taking a plea bargain too soon.
Oftentimes, a prosecutor’s first offer is a far cry from a bargain, but more like an effort to close your case as soon as possible. Taking a plea bargain too early precludes you from rebutting constitutional challenges should they arise.
- Pleading guilty simply because the breathalyzer showed you were over the legal limit.
In some cases, breathalyzers may be inaccurate. Immediately making a guilty plea based on the breath test results limits you and your attorney from any such challenges that may exonerate you.
- Failing to appear in court.
Failure to appear in court will result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest. Further, if you posted any bail or bond, failing to appear in court will revoke these funds and you will have to spend time in jail.
- Talking to other people about your case.
While talking to your attorney carries certain privilege, anything you say to other people can be used against you in court.
A DWI is a serious offense with many long-term ramifications that require skilled and experienced legal representation to obtain the best possible outcome. Thinking you can handle your case by yourself is a recipe for disaster. It is imperative to seek and retain a competent Minnesota DWI attorney as soon as possible to help you prepare your case.