If you have been arrested for a DWI, pleading guilty is an option. If you plan to plead guilty, it means you are waiving many of your rights. You will not have the right to remain silent, challenge the conviction, or ask for a jury trial.
If you are considering pleading guilty, you will benefit from seeking an attorney’s advice. An experienced lawyer can examine the facts of your case and decide whether a guilty plea is the best course of action. This is a serious matter, and you want to make sure you make the best possible decision.
Consequences of a conviction
In all states, a first-time DWI conviction is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail, accompanied with hefty fines. First-time, non-injury DWI offenders, however, are sometimes sentenced from one to three days in jail. Certain states decree that a minimum number of days must be served in jail, but if it is a first-time, non-injury offense, the number of days will typically not exceed three days.
In addition to substantial financial penalties, most states require offenders to attend mandatory DWI school, which is also costly. Licenses are most often suspended for up to a year, although most states will allow people to drive to and from work or for medical purposes. Agreeing to have an ignition interlock system that tests blood alcohol levels helps in this matter. The device is installed in your car and requires that you pass its breathalyzer test before the car’s motor starts, ensuring you won’t drive the vehicle while intoxicated.
The length of a DUI probation period differs based on the state and the circumstances involved in the drunk-driving charge. The DUI probation period for a misdemeanor offense ranges from three months to one year. For a more serious DUI charge, the probation period may last several years. Some states have a zero tolerance for blood alcohol content during this time. Convictions are also made available to the DMV.
Differentiating factors in DWI cases
If you have more than one DWI, your case is significantly more serious. Judges pay particular attention to cases where there are repeat offenses.
Blood alcohol levels slightly above .08 or field sobriety tests indicating the driver was not significantly impaired usually result in minimum sentencing. A BAC of .15 or more is considered to be a threat on the road and, if there is evidence of bad driving, sentencing can be more severe. Each state has minimum and maximum sentences for DWIs.
Seek an experienced attorney
Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria, located in Western New York, has significant experience in DWI cases. We provide a tough and effective defense and provide free, easy-to-access, state-of-the-art technology that can help in the event of a DWI arrest or accident.
This article does not purport to give legal advice and is for informational purposes only.