Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is one of the charges that accounts for so many people having criminal records. While it’s dangerous and wrong to drive while over the alcohol limit, it’s very different from setting out to rob or assault someone or cheat an elderly pensioner out of money via wire fraud.
While the penalties of a conviction vary from offense to offense, many automated systems will treat you just the same whether you have a criminal record for DUI or for manslaughter. Automated systems that filter applicants for social housing, education and jobs can all filter you out if they see you have a criminal record.
If facing DWI charges, only a successful defense can ensure you won’t have to suffer such consequences. A good place to start building that is to look at whether the police officers who stopped and arrested you did two things:
Did they have reasonable suspicion to stop you?
The police must be able to explain why they pulled you over. What crime did they have reasonable suspicion you were guilty of? Thinking you look dodgy or that someone like you could not afford a car like that are not valid reasons. You and your vehicle matching the description of a suspect in an earlier crime is. As are seeing you do something like speeding, jumping a light, weaving across the road like you are drunk or having a faulty brake light.
Did they have probable cause to arrest you?
If the police can justify the initial stop, then they still must justify their decision to arrest you on grounds of drunk driving. What led them to this decision? Did you fail a field sobriety test or breathalyzer test? Were you incapable of speaking to them without slurring your words? Or did they see you swigging from a whisky bottle as you drove?
Learning more about how to challenge the allegations you face could help you avoid the significant consequences a conviction will bring.