Anyone who drives or has actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 is charged with a DWI. According to Arkansas DWI laws, drivers are subject to arrest and charges for operating a vehicle while drunk if their BAC is.08 or greater. A DWI can result in jail or prison time, heavy fines, and license suspension if found guilty. Drunk driving is different from any other crime in Arkansas. It is a serious charge with far-reaching consequences, particularly if you receive a DWI conviction. It would be best to have an Arkansas criminal defense attorney representing you against the charge.
When a police officer makes an arrest, the DWI ordeal begins. The police will likely ask you standard questions during the traffic stop while looking over your identification, car registration, and outstanding warrants, if applicable. Once you exit the vehicle, the officer might request one or more standardized field sobriety tests. You could be asked to blow into a roadside breathalyzer, often known as a breathalyzer test. Since these are notoriously unreliable, prosecutors cannot utilize the results in court. However, the results can be sufficient for the police officer to detain you for a DWI. Ask a criminal defense attorney at our firm here about the benefits of waiting at least eight hours while in jail. When you are released from custody, you will receive a letter informing you of the day and hour of your arraignment. This is your initial appearance in court. The arraignment highlights how a DWI differs from any other crime in Arkansas.
Considering the consequences of such a charge, you might be hoping to have the DWI charge shifted or dropped. Interestingly enough, Arkansas strictly forbids doing either. DWI is different from any other crime in Arkansas because you only have the option of making a guilty plea or going to trial.
According to ACA Section 5-65-107:
(a) A person arrested for violating § 5-65-103 shall be tried on the charge of violating § 5-65-103 or plead to the charge of violating § 5-65-103, and the charge of violating § 5-65-103 shall not be reduced or dismissed.
(b) Furthermore, when a law enforcement officer issues a citation for violating § 5-65-103, the citation shall be filed with the court as soon as possible.
It is quite a curious fact that the court may dismiss a murder charge in Arkansas, but a DWI charge cannot be dismissed. To avoid a trial on the DWI charges, you must either enter a guilty or no-contest plea. The prosecuting attorney or the court cannot dismiss any DWI charges.
You need an Arkansas criminal defense attorney for an offense that is this unique.
All is not lost. Your options are limited since a DWI differs from any other crime in Arkansas, but you still have a few. A DWI defense attorney from Kevin Lemley Law Partners can help you flesh them out.
Firstly, understand the numerous penalties for a DWI charge.
This is what is at risk for your first offense:
Secondly, if you were driving with children in the car or were involved in a motor vehicle accident when you were charged with DWI in Arkansas, your punishment can be increased. These penalties stand apart from any DMV-imposed penalty related to a restricted license or other suspensions of driving privileges.
You could lose your license, incur hefty fines, and go to jail if you don’t get a DWI attorney. You need a lawyer familiar with the uniqueness of Arkansas law, whether this is your first DWI offense or you are a repeat offender. The team at Kevin Lemley Law Partners will know what to do. Please schedule a consultation with us so we can carve out our options.