Getting arrested for a DWI for the first time in your life can be a terrifying, stressful, and embarrassing experience. Not only can a conviction lead to fines, license suspension, and even jail time, but also a permanent criminal record that could ruin your life and reputation.
However, there are certain steps you can take after arrest to obtain the best possible outcome in your case, no matter the specific circumstances. You need to be aware of your rights and do whatever it takes to protect your freedom and future.
The following are several steps to take after a DWI arrest in New York:
- Hire a lawyer – A criminal defense attorney is dedicated to fighting any charges in order to dismiss the entire case or significantly reduce the penalties you face. Your lawyer can investigate your arrest, collect evidence, find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and create an effective defense strategy to obtain a favorable outcome—meaning it is possible to avoid going to jail.
- Avoid talking to the police – As soon as you arrested, invoke your right to remain silent and wait until your attorney arrives to discuss your DWI arrest with law enforcement. Anything you say to the police can and will be used against you at trial, so avoid providing authorities with evidence to convict you.
- Stay away from social media – You need to remain silent on social media as well. Prosecutors and law enforcement officials can search your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram profile for incriminating images, posts, and other digital evidence to use against you.
- Request a DMV hearing – The DMV hearing is a formal hearing to determine if you can maintain your driving privileges while your criminal case is ongoing. Failure to request a DMV hearing can result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license.
- Plead not guilty – You will have to enter a plea at arraignment, which is the initial court appearance following a DWI arrest. If you plead guilty, not only do you lose the opportunity to defend yourself, but you may be susceptible to the maximum penalties by law.
If you have been arrested for a DWI in Hudson Valley, contact Letterio & Haug, LLP today at (845) 203-0997 and request a free case review to learn about your available legal options.