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Charged with a DWI? 5 Things You Need to do Next

Facing DWI charges can be a scary ordeal, but keeping a level head is important to handling your situation in the best possible way. By educating yourself on the process and knowing what to do to protect yourself, you can obtain the best possible results for your circumstances.

Take Notes on the Traffic Stop and Arrest

Write down the events in as much detail as you can recall, especially in regard to the initial stop. Report on what reason you were given for the stop and include specifics about the breath test. Since breathalyzers are different and some are less reliable than others, this will be of particular interest to your defense. Also describe the other tests you were given, such as walking a straight line or reciting the alphabet.

Hire an Attorney

While you may feel confident that you can handle minor traffic offenses on your own, a DWI charge is a different matter entirely. As Thomas A. Corletta points out, the penalties paying a fine, probation, and jail time are possible. For this reason, it’s important to have an experienced and knowledgeable legal advocate working for you to help mitigate your charges.

Set Your Social Media Profiles to Private

Anything that can be publicly seen on social media is fair game. This means any statements you make in posts or in comments is admissible in court. For this reason, you should refrain in making any reference to your legal trouble on the internet and restrict who can see the things you post. As far as sharing personal information, a good rule of thumb is that, if you don’t feel comfortable shouting about it on a street corner, don’t post about it online.

Don’t Miss Your First Hearing

Make sure you know when your first court appearance is scheduled and ensure you don’t miss it. Skipping out on a hearing can put you in worse trouble with the court. Typically, you’ll be required to appear within thirty days of your arrest, though some states will require a hearing before the licensing authority instead. In either case, appearing on time is in your best interests.

Locate Witnesses

If anyone else was present during your traffic stop and subsequent arrest, they may be useful in helping to defend you. You might even ask family and friends to testify for you, if they saw you after your arrest or before the stop. Witnesses carry a great deal of weight in court, so lining up a strong list of witnesses will help.

Being arrested for a DWI may seem like the end of the world, but the outcome depends on how well you handle the aftermath. Working with an experienced lawyer can help you achieve the best possible results and may reduce your penalties.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her husky Snowball. You can find her on Twitter at @LizzieWeakley and on Facebook at

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

If you find this type of information interesting or helpful, please visit my law firm's main website at You will find many more articles and links. Thank you for your time.

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