Wednesday, April 22, 2009

10 Biggest Mistakes People Make After Being Arrested For DWI And How To Avoid Them

1. Not taking the matter seriously. This is a charge that will follow you for the rest of your life, if you are convicted. The additional insurance charges alone could cost you thousands of dollars.

2. Not hiring an attorney. The law is complex and you need competent representation. You must raise the right defenses at the right time or you will lose them. Facts will disappear, memories fade and witnesses vanish. A winable case can quickly become a loser.

3. Hiring an attorney based on the amount of the fee alone. The State of Texas has almost unlimited resources when it comes to your case. You need to hire an attorney and pay a fee which will allow him to put time and effort into your case to counter the prosecution. Attorneys must earn enough in the time they spend on your case in order to keep their doors open and make a living wage. If you go too low, your attorney will not be able to put in the time necessary to protect you. Look for a reasonable, predictable fee, not the lowest.

4. Not complying with driver's license laws. You could lose your right to drive.

5. Driving after your license has been taken away.

6. Not taking full advantage of your constitutional rights.

7. Taking the prosecutor's first offer. The first offer is not a bargain, it's just to get rid of your case with the least amount of work. Very few cases are dismissed or reduced to a non-alcohol charge at this stage. You do not give the judge an opportunity to rule on constitutional challenges. You give up your right to raise these issues and make the State prove it's case.

8. Fail to appear in Court. The Court will issue a bench warrant for your arrest and revoke any bond. The next time you are stopped for a traffic infraction, you will be spending some time in jail and posting a bond for your future appearances.

9. Talk to anyone but an attorney about your case. Anything you say to them can be used against you.

10. Think that talking to numerous attorneys will help you handle it on your own. You need to have an attorney go to Court with you.
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Driving While Intoxicated

Driving while intoxicated is the act of operating and/or driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to the degree that mental and motor skills are impaired. It is illegal in all jurisdictions within the U.S. The specific criminal offense is usually called driving under the influence (of alcohol and/or other drugs, DUI), and in some states driving while intoxicated (DWI), operating while impaired (OWI), or operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI). Such laws may also apply to boating or piloting aircraft.

In the United States the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 17,941 people died in 2006 in "alcohol-related" collisions, representing 40 percent of total traffic deaths in the US. Over 500,000 people were injured in alcohol-related accidents in the US in 2003. NHTSA defines fatal collisions as "alcohol-related" if they believe the driver, a passenger, or an occupant of the vehicle (such as a pedestrian or pedalcyclist) had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.01 or greater. NHTSA defines nonfatal collisions as "alcohol-related" if the accident report indicates evidence of alcohol present. NHTSA specifically notes that "alcohol-related" does not necessarily mean a driver or nonoccupant was tested for alcohol and that the term does not indicate a collision or fatality was caused by the presence of alcohol. On average, about 60 percent of the BAC values are missing or unknown. To analyze what they believe is the complete data, statisticians simulate BAC information. Drivers with a BAC of 0.10 are 6 to 12 times more likely to get into a fatal crash or injury then drivers with no alcohol.