What To Expect After A DWI Arrest

People often know that when someone is pulled over for drunk driving, the police conduct field sobriety tests such as walking in a straight line or having to breathe into a Breathalyzer machine. Though many people are aware of these steps in the arrest process, the same people may not be aware of what happens next.

What Happens After Being Arrested For Drunk Driving?

People who are arrested for a DWI for the first time probably don't know what to expect after a DWI arrest. In Minnesota, several steps follow the initial arrest, including:

  1. Going to the police station — Once you've been arrested for driving while intoxicated or DWI, also referred to as DUI, you will be taken to the police station for processing.
  2. Booking, fingerprints and photo — At the station, your personal information will be recorded and you will be finger-printed and photographed as part of your arrest processing.
  3. Setting and posting bail or bond — A judge will determine if you are eligible for bail based on your history and how serious this incident was. The judge will then set the amount. If you are able to pay cash or post some type of collateral, you should be able to go home. The cash or collateral is set to ensure that you appear in court at your appointed court hearing.
  4. Arraignment — The first appearance in court is called arraignment. At that time, you will be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. You must appear for the arraignment; however, sometimes your lawyer can appear for you. This can be helpful, for example, if appearing in court would otherwise cause you to miss work.
  5. Pretrial conference — Your attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor and try for dismissing charged or a reduced sentence in a plea deal.
  6. Preliminary hearing — This hearing occurs if you have entered a not guilty plea at your arraignment. At this hearing a determination will be made about if the case will go to trial with a jury or not. The judge can dismiss the case at this point or send it to a jury trial.
  7. Jury trial — This includes jury selection, opening and closing statements, witnesses, evidence and jury deliberation.
  8. Sentencing — The judge will determine sentencing which may include license revocation, jail time, fines, impoundment of your vehicle, classes and treatment programs and ignition interlock device

Collateral Consequences May Apply

In addition to fines and jail time, a DWI arrest can result in other consequences such as:

  • Impoundment of your vehicle or license plates
  • License suspension or revocation
  • Driving restrictions such as being able to drive to work only
  • Requirement to participate in a substance abuse counseling program
  • Community service hours
  • Placement of ignition interlock device on your steering wheel

An experienced attorney is your best defense when facing drunk driving charges.

Call For Your Free Consultation

Located in Otsego, Two Rivers Law P.A. assists people charged with DWI and other criminal offenses, including misdemeanor and felony drug charges. Call their law office at 763-575-7911 for a free consultation to discuss how we can help in your case. You can also email the firm if that's more convenient. Attorney David Cox represents people in Elk River and the northwest suburbs of the Twin Cities with creating DWI defense strategies for over 10 years.