It’s one of those nightmares that people hope they never have to face. Blue lights fill your rearview mirror and an officer is telling you to pull over. A driving while impaired (DWI) charge in Texas can be a huge hassle, and if you don’t handle it properly, it can result in being imprisoned or fined.
So what should you do after a DWI charge?
Step 1: Call an experienced lawyer right away.
If you’re arrested in Houston or its surrounding areas, including Fort Bend or Montgomery counties, then you should call an experienced lawyer as quickly as you can. A DWI charge can make it difficult for you to drive, work and manage your social affairs. A trained lawyer will give you a chance to fight the charges properly.
Step 2: Be respectful.
It’s easy to get angry at the officers involved, especially if they’re rude. The best advice is to not cause conflict. Listen to them and be as respectful as you can.
On top of that, you should attend all court settings and treat the court staff with respect. Make sure that you dress nicely. This can go a long way to helping your case if the judge sees you’re dressed professionally and taking the charges seriously.
Step 3: Don’t admit anything.
Just because you’re being polite doesn’t mean you have to give away the case. Try to say as little as you can. Don’t admit to having consumed any drinks. If an officer continues to ask you questions, you should tell him that your lawyer has advised you not to speak and that you would like to speak with your lawyer first. This should stop the questioning.
Step 4: Maintain your own privacy.
It can be tempting to discuss your case with anyone who will listen. It’s important that you hold these facts in confidence. Avoid social media above all. Many people post facts on Facebook that can hurt their case. With the rise of the Internet, police and prosecutors often scan social media pages for juicy tidbits. Only talk about your DWI case with your lawyer.
Step 5: Trust your defense lawyer to do the work.
If you hire a defense attorney, you should be there to assist as much as possible but you need to trust his or her judgment. Any facts that you can remember will help your lawyer do their job. A good client is one who stands at the ready to assist. Just resist the temptation to try and steer the case.
Step 6: Don’t drive with a suspended license.
Your license may or may not be suspended, depending on whether you are able to win an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing. If your license is suspended, avoid driving. You could lose your bond if you are charged with driving with a suspended license. On top of that, you might anger the judge and cause the district attorney to offer you a worse plea bargain.
Step 7: Take the case seriously
DWIs are serious. They can cause long-term consequences for your career and life. If you’ve been charged, take it seriously. You’ll be glad you did when all is said and done.