What to Expect


What Happens When You’re Arrested and Charged with DWI?

Naturally, you get scared and sometimes panic. You’re concerned about your driver’s license, your job, and whether you’re heading to jail. RELAX. We can help.

When you were arrested, the officer probably read you some information and warnings before asking you for a breath or blood sample. You either gave a sample or you didn’t. If you didn’t, the officer probably got a warrant to seize your blood anyway. Then you were taken to jail, booked, and later released on some sort of bond with instructions to appear in court. There’s a good chance the police kept your driver’s license and gave you some paperwork instructing you that your license will be suspended unless you quickly file paperwork to challenge the suspension. This is the most important deadline at the beginning of a DWI case. You should immediately hire an experienced lawyer and discuss fighting the ALR (administrative license revocation) suspension.

Next you will deal with the criminal DWI charge. Thousands of people go through this every year. You will have to appear in court, on time, every time you are instructed to (usually about once a month). This will go on for many months if you have a good lawyer, since the lawyer needs time to independently investigate your case.

At some point your lawyer will have educated you about the law of DWI, the relevant facts from your case, and any possible legal issues, defenses, or weaknesses in the State’s case. The prosecutor will either dismiss the case or present his/her best settlement offer (plea bargain). If the case is not dismissed or settled through a plea bargain, then the judge will set it for trial.

Your biggest challenge is, frankly, choosing the right lawyer. Once you hire a lawyer experienced in DWI cases, you should be able to relax and let the lawyer assume the stress for you. The lawyers at Shellist Peebles McAlister LLP are experienced in DWI defense and have taken the stress away from hundreds of DWI clients.