The DWI Process

01. Arrest

You booze, you cruise, you lose. If a police officer has reasonable suspicion, they will pull you over, especially in the late night or early morning hours.

Failure to pass the Field Sobriety Tests will result in an arrest and towing of your vehicle, as well as a visit to the police station where you may have to take another breath test. Failure to cooperate will result in consequences, such as being held overnight.

02. Arraignment

Warning: anxiety may occur. at the arraignment, the judge reads the charges you are being faced With, and you may enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.

At this stage, we recommend entering a plea of “not guilty”, because we want to see the evidence BEFORE you plead guilty to anything. We also fight for your right to drive if its threatened to be taken away, due to your BAC being 0.08% or higher, or refusal to take a chemical test. This stage is crucial during the DWI process.

03. Discovery & Fact Gathering

after the arraignment, your legal team will request “discovery” materials from the prosecution a.k.a everything they might have against you. (i.e. tickets, accusatory instruments, police reports, witness statements, videos, photos, etc.)

This helps with clarity and building a strong case. From there, they may file motions to challenge some of the allegations, and preserve your rights, with additional hearings to keep the prosecution from using evidence against you.

04. Negotiations

plea bargaining is the process that allows your legal team to meet with the prosecutor and try to negotiate a compromise.

A negotiation can take place to reduce your charges and penalty by pleading guilty to lesser charges. Plea bargaining may or may not be available to you, but we will help you understand when a plea bargain may or may not be in your best interest.

05. Trial

if you wish to continue to fight your case, we will likely proceed to trial and fight with you.

After your defenses have been presented to the Judge and/or jury, and you decide to go to trial, you will have to be proved guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If they fail to prove their case, you will be found “not guilty” and vice versa.

06. Sentencing

there are various actions a judge may sentence you to if you are convicted at trial or accept a plea bargain.

The sentences include: payment of fine and surcharges, a short jail term, a long jail term depending on the severity of the charge you have been convicted of or plead guilty to, probation or a suspended sentence, with restrictions on where you can go and what you can do, your driver’s license may be suspended or revoked for a certain period of time, community service, working with a local nonprofit community organization, installation of an “ignition interlock” device on your vehicle which prevents you from operating your vehicle if your blood alcohol content is over a certain level (typically .02), completion of an Impaired Driver Program, attendance of a Victim Impact Panel, and other consequences at the discretion of the judge within certain guidelines.


Please be advised that this case outline is only intended for educational purposes and to give a general overview of a DWI or DWAI-Drugs case. Each case is different and your experience may vary greatly from this outline. This is intended for informational purposes only. An attorney-client relationship has not been established and is not intended to be legal advice.

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