I Was Arrested for DWI – Do I Need a Lawyer?

Nobody wants to see their money go to waste, particularly in a tough economy. If you have been arrested for DWI, you may be asking yourself if it worth spending the money to hire an attorney?

Even if you committed the offense you are charged with, an attorney can be invaluable in helping you mitigate potential consequences and move on with your life.

If you have concerns about whether proper procedure was followed by the police or you want to fight the charges, you should hire an attorney. A DWI conviction will be on your criminal record forever. A DWI also affects numerous other areas – you won’t simply be dealing with criminal charges. Whether it’s your first offense or you have multiple previous convictions, the State of Minnesota will promptly revoke your driver’s license if you are arrested for suspicion of DWI. Depending on your past criminal history, as well as your test results on the current offense, it’s possible you may even be facing a cancellation of your driver’s license.

Another thing to consider if you are on the fence about hiring an attorney is that if you have previous DWI convictions within the last ten years, there are mandatory minimum penalties with respect to jail time and fines. On a second DWI offense in ten years, you are facing at least 30 days in jail, at least 90 days in jail for a third offense in ten years, and four offenses within a ten year period may result in a felony conviction which can carry prison time. In addition, if you have multiple offenses or your test results are twice the legal limit or higher you will need to deal with a plate impoundment, requiring you to obtain special registration or “whiskey” plates. Like the license revocation, this occurs promptly also. You may also be facing a forfeiture of your vehicle as a result of an offense.

It is important to keep in mind that on the administrative side of things – license revocation or cancellation, plate impoundment, and vehicle forfeiture – there is a limited window of time in which you can challenge these actions. It is all too common for a potential client to wait to meet with a criminal defense attorney until a few weeks or a few days before his or her criminal court date, and to learn that he or she will lose his or her car and have no right to do anything about a license cancellation and plate impoundment because they missed a statutory deadline. Court calendars are busy, which means a person may not be scheduled for court on a DWI charge for months after it occurs. As such, the person has no sense of urgency to speak with a lawyer about his or her options or possible representation. THIS IS A HUGE MISTAKE! By failing to act with urgency, you may risk loss of your property and your rights!

While no attorney can guarantee to get your case dismissed, there are multiple areas a DWI conviction directly affects. As such, it is extremely helpful to have someone knowledgeable on your side to help you navigate through all of the issues that may arise. In addition, a DWI attorney is going to first analyze your case from the standpoint of trying to get the charges dismissed. If dismissal is not possible, then a dedicated DWI attorney can help to get you the best plea agreement possible based on the facts and circumstances surrounding your case. Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule as to what to expect as far as disposition goes when a case involves a plea agreement; however, hiring an attorney familiar with Minnesota DWI laws will ensure that your case will be resolved as best as possible under the circumstances. You can rest assured that an informed, third-party rationally analyzed all the facts and advised you properly, thereby erasing the “What if?”

If you are facing DWI charges, you likely have a lot of questions and concerns. Call Twin Cities Defense right away for a free consultation.