If you’ve ever had a traffic stop that resulted in a DWI accusation, you know how scary it can be. Whether or not you’re guilty, your mind might start racing, trying to think of what to do next. What’s your next move? Will you lose your license? What about jail? The most important thing is to stay calm, and act quickly. There are several things you’ll want to do right away if accused of a DWI in order to have the least punishment possible.
1. Record All the Details
The more details you can write down, the better. If possible, take pictures or video footage of the scene. You’ll want to include:
- When and where you were stopped
- Whether a breathalyzer test was given
- Any other tests given
- The reason the officer stopped you in the first place
- What you said to the officer
- What the officer said to you
These little details might be what could save you from indictment, so it’s important to write them down as soon as you get home.
2. Track Down Witnesses
Begin by noting any witnesses on the scene. If possible, try to get their contact information to help corroborate your story down the road. You’ll also want to talk to everyone who saw you before, during, and after the incident. Collect their statements for attorney use and ask if they’d be willing to testify for you in court.
3. Protect Yourself Online
Everyone’s familiar with this section of the Miranda rights: “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” This doesn’t just include what you say to the officer face to face. The prosecuting attorney can use anything you’ve said on social media to make you look guilty as well.
“Social media privacy issues are routinely discussed in court,” according to a blog post on Socialnomics. “Here is the conclusion judges usually come to: ‘private’ is not the same as ‘not public.’ If you choose to share content—even with a select group of people—it is no longer private. Therefore, it becomes public and available for use in a legal case.” It’s best to lie low on social media and set your profiles to private for best protection.
4. Save Your Driver’s License
In most states, your license will be automatically suspended unless you make an appeal. “You only have 15 days to request a hearing to challenge the automatic suspension of your…driver’s license,” according to Johnson, Johnson, & Baer, Texas DWI attorneys. This makes it very important to act quickly and consult an attorney to get the ball rolling on your appeal.
5. Talk With an Attorney
It’s not a good idea to try to fight a DWI claim alone. It’s best to discuss all of your options with a qualified, experienced attorney who is familiar with your case, the state in which the claims are administered, and the best way out of the charge.
6. Remain Calm
Above all, stay calm throughout the proceedings. In some situations, the case can drag on, and if you obsess over it, it will become the most stressful time of your life. The best thing is to hand the case over to your attorney and go on living a normal life.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=0615832784][amazon template=iframe image&asin=B008UZWRUI]