Practical Advice for Going Through the DWI Process
If you are reading this, it is probable that you or a loved one is going through the horrible experience of the DWI Process. Please know that we all make mistakes. We are human. DWI is a unique offense in that no one goes out with the intention of getting arrested. Please know you have our greatest sympathies. What you are experiencing is very common. Many people, approximately 1.4 million, have gone through exactly what you are experiencing. We have had at least four lawyers at the Coffey Firm who have had an arrest for a DWI or a related offense. We understand. Good people get DWIs. You are not alone. Information is power and vast experience provides insightful information. I hope you find this information helpful. – Mimi
The Initial Shock of the DWI Process
Upon your release from jail, you are feel shock and embarrassment. You are trying to collect your thoughts and memories about what happened and why. It hurts like an open wound; you are anxious to patch it up and reduce the scarring. Next, you are debating about whether to tell certain people and are leaning towards not. Finally, you have wrapped up retrieving your car and figuring out how to account for any missed time at work.
The best plan of action is to:
Realize first that you are in a trauma situation. The best decisions are not made under stress. Resist the knee jerk reaction to take immediate action. I recall several years ago, the heiress to the Walmart fortune was arrested for DWI out of Parker County and within days she had hired a civil lawyer who was issuing her apology statement. Despite a vast fortune and ready resources, she chose to hire a lawyer who was not DWI board certified and who made a foolish move. It is impossible within days of an arrest for any attorney to know what should be done with a case for its best resolution. Consider the following information:
- What are the technical issues? All the discovery and an ALR hearing is necessary for a proper analysis. For example, we have had cases where the officer moved to another police department and could not be served. We would not have known this without the ALR hearing. Knowing that a witness may or may not be available for trial can factor into the decision to proceed to trial.
- Personnel decisions. Who is the Judge? Who is the prosecutor? Will this DA remain on the case or move to another court? These folks play a large part in how your case will proceed and its possible outcome. What may look like intoxication to one prosecutor, may not look like a triable case to another. It is our job to know these things and position your case to its best advantage.
- Strategy. Much like a football game that lasts three hours with only eleven minutes of play time, your case will involve a lot of behind the scenes work. This work includes but is not limited to discovery accumulation, your license hearing, subpoenas being issued, laboratory work requested, scheduling, case analysis, etc. Strategy can also change for various reasons. In order to get the best result for your case, it is critical to adapt to the changing winds that may benefit our position. For example, a new prosecutor being assigned, etc.
It is critical that you go back to your life and resume any and all responsibilities with renewed vigor. If you get cancer, you don’t start administering to yourself chemotherapy. It is our job to do everything we can to ensure that you obtain the best possible result with your case. This means that we ask you to cooperate with us in communicating and providing us information. We will be requesting that you follow in some directives that can optimize your situation depending on the route that we go. Please be diligent in following our advice so that we can best service you.
The best thing that you can do now is to look for the silver lining. This is a great opportunity for you to take positive measures to ensure that you will never get in this situation again. We can help point you in the right directions. We will always be here to help whenever you need. But, we hope that future contact will be of a friendly nature as opposed to more distress. There is never a better time to change the past than the present. Also, therapy is an excellent way to test what stressors might have led to the current predicament if any and to take action. Take stock in all that is positive in your life and focus on these things.
Why I care
In the twenty-four years that I have been a DWI Attorney, I find the greatest reward is seeing people rediscover themselves after the DWI Process. Whether this comes from a Not Guilty or a reduced charge, or changed habits as a result of a wakeup call, seeing someone go from one of the lowest points of their lives to hope is the best aspect of what The Coffey Firm does. Remember, tough times make us better people. As Robert Schuller said, “Tough times never last, but tough people do.”