What to Do When Arrested for DWI
A DWI arrest is no laughing matter. Drinking and driving are punished harshly in New Jersey. Even for a first offense, the punishment is severe. A person can face thousands of dollars in fines, surcharges, and other mandatory financial penalties, loss of driving privileges until they get an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle, as well as 30 days in jail,
You need the best defense possible. Find out what you should and should not do when arrested for DWI.
What Not to Do After a DWI Arrest
First, know what you shouldn’t do after a DWI arrest:
- Talk to the police. You have the right to remain silent, so don’t talk to the police about things that can make you look guilty. It is possible that you will incriminate yourself even more.
- Plead guilty. If you plead guilty right away in court, the next step is sentencing. You won’t be able to defend yourself or challenge any evidence.
What You Need to Do
Time is of the essence after you have been arrested for a DWI. Follow these tips:
- Call a lawyer. You don’t want to say anything to the police, so you need a lawyer on your side to defend yourself right away. DWI cases can be complex, so make sure you choose an experienced attorney.
- Write down details about what happened. Where did the arrest take place? Why did the police pull you over? Did you say anything incriminating to the police? Did you perform any field sobriety tests? Did you submit a breath sample? Record everything that happened after you were pulled over.
- Gather evidence. Look for evidence or witnesses that can prove what you did or did not do. Maybe you didn’t have anything to drink. Do you have witnesses who can confirm this? Were there security cameras that captured what happened?
- Attend required hearings. Attend all court hearings. Skipping any mandatory court appearances can result in a warrant being issued for your arrest.
- Listen to your lawyer. An experienced DWI lawyer knows how to best defend your case. Be honest with your lawyer about what happened and also listen to them. They will give you good advice, so follow it. If you don’t trust that your lawyer is doing the best job for you, then consider getting a second opinion.
- Stay out of legal trouble. Don’t get arrested for another DWI during (or after) your case because each new offense carries with it increased penalties.
Contact a New Jersey DWI/DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
The penalties for a DWI are harsh. You should have an experienced, knowledgeable, and competent lawyer on your side to defend you and your case.
New Jersey criminal defense lawyer Matthew V. Portella, LLC has 25 years of experience handling DWI/DUIs. For aggressive representation on your case, schedule a consultation with us today. Contact us online or call (856) 245-5913. We serve various locations throughout New Jersey.