After being charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), a person's life could drastically change. Many drivers will lose their driving privileges, pay hefty fines, and face criminal charges. However, many other problems can develop after an arrest. DWIs can affect a person's future in anything from child custody agreements to job applications. These convictions often stay on a person's record for many years, leading to more complications. However, there are several ways to protect your future after a DWI. If you need assistance with a DWI charge, consider speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney at Jason English Law by calling (512) 454-7548 to schedule a consultation.
How Life Changes After a DWI
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, when an individual's blood alcohol concentration reaches 0.08 percent, that person cannot legally operate a boat, vehicle, or plane. He or she may face a criminal charge for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
DWIs can cause problems for many years after a conviction. What might be a fun night on the town can quickly turn into a life-altering event. These convictions on a driver's record can affect many important aspects of the driver's life, such as:
- College applications
- Child custody
Drinking and driving as a teen or young adult can impact the process of applying to a college. Many colleges and universities ask about past convictions and arrests, and an applicant must list any DWI charges.
A criminal conviction may impact child custody, making it difficult for single or divorced parents during a custody battle. If the parents cannot come to an agreement, the family court judge, attempting to ensure the child's safety, will check a parent's criminal history before ruling on a custody arrangement.
DWI charges result in penalties and fines. Additionally, they can hurt an individual's chance at securing future employment. Some industries look deeper into DWI charges, but for any jobs that require driving, companies will often disqualify an applicant who has a DWI.
Insurance companies do not want to insure drivers who are considered high risk on the road. After one conviction, DWI drivers will often pay more for insurance than the average driver because of those assumed risks. Additionally, the Texas Department of Public Safety states that convictions may lead to:
- Limiting driving privileges
- Enrolling in an alcohol treatment program
- Installing an ignition lock
- Filing a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate
Drivers may wish to learn more about these possible consequences from an experienced criminal defense attorney at Jason English Law.
Protecting Your Future After a DWI
After a DWI arrest, a few important steps can help to mitigate the impact on the driver's future. Take these steps to help protect your future after a DWI arrest.
Work with an Attorney
DWIs are complex, serious matters, so you may benefit from having your case handled by an experienced attorney. Your attorney may be able to help you have a better chance of avoiding a conviction. While Texas takes all DWIs seriously, prosecutors might reduce some cases with limited fines or jail time. However, a conviction will remain on a person's record and will show up in subsequent background checks. Working with an attorney may at least help to alleviate some of the stresses involved and provide the driver with legal advice and information for rebuilding his or her reputation going forward.
DWI cases can mean a long and arduous court process. An arrest for DWI can negatively affect anyone's life. Reach out to friends and family about the incident. Be honest. In some cases, they may be able to help with the financial resources needed to get legal help for your case. In addition, these close confidants could provide emotional support.
Consider Emotional Support
Consider finding a support group or counselor in addition to trusted friends and family. Sometimes, the judge may be more likely to rule in your favor if you are actively seeking help. Seeking professional assistance can go a long way toward showing the court that you are working to improve your life. Many alcohol awareness and mental health groups offer these types of services. Look into individual counseling to address these issues. While signing up for emotional support services will not guarantee that an individual can avoid conviction, he or she might lessen the severity of the penalties.
Everyone makes mistakes. However, take this time to evaluate your life decisions. Engaging in risky behavior can lead to life-changing consequences. Make a note of these issues and decide how to change those parts of your life. During the sentencing phase, judges will look at other aspects of a person's life. If someone actively wants to change for the better, it could help lessen some penalties. Use this time to avoid certain situations or people that might cause you to get behind the wheel after a few drinks.
Take Time for Yourself
Being charged with a DWI can create a stressful time in anyone's life. You may want to keep your mind off the pending court date and avoid negative emotions. Dwelling on the incident can often cause more harm than good. Consider finding a nonprofit group or taking classes. Doing anything that is seen as “productive” or involved in community service could work in your favor. These activities also build life skills, allow you to meet new people, and help those in need within the community.
Do Not Give Up
Getting arrested is only the beginning of a case. Consider talking with an attorney to outline the process and work toward a suitable outcome. Remember that a DWI arrest may not lead to a conviction on your record.
Avoid Additional Criminal Charges
Finally, while you have one case pending, be sure not to get arrested on another charge. Any goodwill from the above steps can disappear with a subsequent arrest. To ensure a better future, stay on the right side of the law during and after your DWI case.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Today
With these ways to protect your future after a DWI arrest, you can hope to have a better outcome, whether or not the case ends in a conviction. To learn more about your options, consider contacting a criminal defense attorney at Jason English Law by calling (512) 454-7548 to schedule a free consultation today.