OWI is one of the most common arrests and convictions made. However, few people understand the true ramifications of such a conviction. In most people’s minds, an OWI is so commonplace that the penalties must not be all that harsh or imposing. However, this school of thought couldn’t be any further from the truth.
The problems with an OWI begin with the arrest. In most cases, someone who is suspected of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated will be subjected to a number of tests including a field sobriety test as well as a confirmation blood or breath test. These tests will take a number of hours to complete with the offender being held indefinitely while this process occurs. If the suspect is found to be in violation of the OWI law, he or she is held in jail until bonded out or appears in court, whichever comes first. This can take anywhere from a number of hours to days to happen.
The next step is court. The offender will have retained legal representation, if smart, and will have paid thousands in a retainer fee as well as paid for research and evidence gathering in order to build a solid defense against the charges. The offender should expect to have to make several appearances in court before their case will be decided, requiring them to take several days off from work to be in attendance. If the court appearance is missed, a bench warrant will be issued and the offender is then rounded up and placed in jail until their next court date comes around or they are bonded out again.
It is important to note that even if the court case is decided in favor of the offender and the charges are reduced, there are still financial penalties, jail time, a loss of driving privileges and a stint in alcohol rehab that can be levied against the offender. In the event that the offender is found guilty, all of the penalties described above may apply. These are the direct impacts that an OWI will have on your personal life.
There are also a number of indirect penalties that can be levied against you. These can include losing your job, not being able to land a new job, losing your family, losing your business and a host of other things. This is because OWI Arrest Records are public records and can be easily distributed across the internet. There is seemingly no limit to the devastation that can be caused by even a single OWI arrest and conviction.
If you are facing an OWI arrest and conviction, it is important to hire an experienced lawyer who can have your arrest record expunged. This will help you avoid a number of indirect impacts that the OWI can have on your personal and professional life. This can ensure that you won’t be faced with years of struggles that can all be traced back to one mistake.