When a driver is convicted on a DWI (driving while intoxicated) charge, one common sentencing measure is probation. This is a period assigned in court where an individual is subject to DWI probation requirements that could include community service, sobriety checks, forfeiture of license, and even a device to lock the ignition of a vehicle.
If you were charged with a DWI, a legal professional can help you understand the possible repercussions you face.
Possible Probation Requirements After a DWI
Possible requirements following a DWI charge could include one or more of the following:
- Community service: Community service refers to volunteering or other required work in your community. As a DWI probation requirement, you might be obligated to fulfill a certain number of hours. The number of hours could be as little as 24 hours to as many as 100 hours.
- Sobriety checks: Generally, probation periods require sobriety. This means it could be necessary to routinely prove you have not been using drugs or alcohol. While some sobriety tests are scheduled, others can be random.
- Loss of a driver’s license: A DWI could result in the loss of a license to operate a motor vehicle for the entirety of the probation period.
- Ignition lock: An ignition lock refers to a DWI offender vehicle being locked so that it cannot be operated. While not every probation requires an ignition lock, it is a possible penalty.
Every probation is different based on each case’s unique details. If you find yourself facing probation for a DWI offense, speaking with a criminal defense lawyer could help you clarify what to expect.
Other Penalties in DWI Cases
Probation is only one penalty you could face following a DWI charge. Others include significant fines and court fees, an extended loss of your driver’s license, and even prison time. You could also face civil charges if you caused an accident that resulted in property damage or loss for a third party.
How Long Can Probation Last?
Each probation period’s terms can vary. Probation can last weeks, months, and in some cases, multiple years. Several factors play a role in determining how long probation for a DWI might last.
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What Factors Affect Probation Requirements?
Some factors that could impact the probation requirements of a DWI include:
- Whether you have a criminal history or history of DWI offenses
- The extent of damage, injuries, and severity of your accident
- Whether you express genuine remorse for your actions
- The specific circumstances of your incident and charges
- Cooperation with law enforcement during the legal process
Regardless of how long probation lasts, following the rules and fulfilling all requirements is the only way to ensure it will end on schedule.
Failure to Adhere to Probationary Requirements
If you were charged with a DWI and put under a probationary period, it is important to follow the rules. Failure to do so could leave you with even more severe penalties. Some of the repercussions of breaching probationary rules include:
- An extended probationary period
- Additional fines and penalties
- The escalation of your DWI case resulting in more severe legal penalties
- Permanent or extended suspension of your license
- More frequent sobriety testing
- House arrest
Why DWI Penalties Are Often Severe
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that impaired drivers cause about 16% of all motor vehicle accidents. Additionally, preventable DWI accidents cause injuries, vehicle loss, and other forms of suffering. With so much potential for damage and loss, it is not a surprise that DWI fines, probation periods, and other penalties exist.
If you were charged with a DWI, you could be facing serious legal repercussions. While DWI charges are serious, remember that you have legal options. Understanding your rights and obligations can help you make the best of an unfortunate situation.
If you find yourself in hot water because of a probation violation, your future could be hinging on how these violations are legally punished. Hiring a lawyer to help you navigate the legal system during this time could prove beneficial in several ways.
Our team of lawyers will support you by helping with legal paperwork, answering your questions, managing the criteria and expectations of your probation, and more. If you abide by the rules of your probation, your sentence could be reduced in some cases. If you are wondering what is required in a DWI probation, reviewing the details of your situation with a lawyer could be helpful.
Contact Us Today to Discuss Your DWI Case
If you were charged with a DWI, broke the rules of your probation, or have general questions about how probation works, the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg is available to help. Call (214) 696-9253 for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our team members today. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can help you explore your legal options.