Posted on

DWI – Bridges Law

Do not drink and drive! Cropped image of drunk man talking car keys

What to expect if you are arrested for DWI in Sebastian or Crawford County Arkansas.

Being charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Crawford or Sebastian County can be a very stressful experience. Below, we will step through what to expect once you are arrested for suspicion of DWI.

To begin, if an officer arrests you for either an alcohol or drug-related DWI, you will be charged by the prosecuting attorney with a DWI. Be aware that the prosecutor can look at your driving record and criminal history for the past 10 years from the date of arrest. If you have any other DWI convictions within that timeframe, you can be facing a Driving While Intoxicated Second Offense, Third Offense, or Felony Fourth Offense. These offenses all come with enhanced penalties.

After bonding out of jail, you will likely have several pieces of paperwork in your possession that are important to retain. The arresting officer will take your driver’s license. You will likely be issued a temporary driver's license in the form of a pink sheet of paper. This temporary license is valid for 30 days from the date of issuance. The second pink sheet of paper attached to the temporary license must be filled out and sent to driver control within 7 days of arrest to request to contest the suspension of your license or to request an interlock license. An interlock license allows you to be issued a temporary license that will allow you to drive so long as you have an interlock device installed on your vehicle. An interlock device checks your blood alcohol content via a breath sample before and while operating a motor vehicle.

You will also be given a citation or document indicating a court date. In both Sebastian and Crawford County, this initial court date is your arraignment where the presiding judge will formally present you with the charges against you. You have the right to plead not guilty at this hearing and seek a qualified attorney to handle the case. If you retain counsel before the arraignment, the attorney can waive your appearance at the arraignment so that you will not have to appear.

After the arraignment, Crawford County will set your case for a pretrial hearing. A pretrial hearing is simply a status hearing where the judge will inquire whether the case needs to be set for trial at a later date or if the case is ready for plea. Your attendance is required at this hearing, and if you have hired an attorney, that attorney will be present to speak on your behalf at the hearing.

In Sebastian County, the case is set for trial instead of pretrial.

In both counties, when the case is set for trial, you have the right to a bench trial where your case will be tried before the sitting judge. The prosecutor will present all relevant evidence to attempt to prove intoxication while operating a motor vehicle. Your attorney will cross-examine the prosecutor’s witnesses to attempt to show the judge that the prosecutor has failed to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. You also have the right to present your case to the judge once the prosecutor rests his or her case. The judge will then either find you not guilty or guilty and pronounce a sentence. If the sentence is unfavorable, you have the right to appeal the judge’s decision to the circuit court and begin the case again.

A seasoned attorney will also review all of the evidence against you before trial and speak with the prosecutor to determine the most favorable outcome regarding your case. There are numerous ways that the prosecutor’s evidence can be excluded based on errors by the arresting officer. A lack of evidence of intoxication can also be a solid defense to where a trial before a judge may be more favorable than a plea to charges.

Given the complex nature of facing DWI charges, it is always in your best interest to consult with an experienced trial attorney who can represent you diligently and deliver the best possible outcome for your case.

Bridges Law stands ready to assist you with DWI charges in Sebastian and Crawford County. With nearly a decade of experience both prosecuting DWIs and successfully defending against them, you can take comfort in knowing that your case will be handled with care, professionalism, and diligence.

*The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. This website does not constitute or create a lawyer-client relationship between us and any recipient. Cory Bridges and Bridges Law disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this site.

Have Questions?