OWI: Criminal Penalties Are Only Part of the Story

OWI: Criminal Penalties Are Only Part of the Story

The criminal consequences of a conviction for operating while intoxicated (OWI) are no joke; you face severe consequences such as jail time and expensive fines. It is understandable that people would focus on such damaging penalties, but the consequences of an OWI conviction or even an arrest go well beyond the criminal realm.

The Administrative Penalties

Our society revolves around the automobile. Being without your driver’s license in our region can limit your employment opportunities, put a crimp in your lifestyle and minimize your freedom of movement as you go about your daily routine.

With that in mind, it could be argued that the loss of your driver’s license or suspension of your driving privileges is the most critical penalty associated with an OWI. This penalty comes through an administrative process that is handled separately to the criminal case surrounding an OWI arrest and charges.

Time is of the essence: you have as few as 10 days after an arrest to request an administrative hearing.

The Collateral Consequences

An OWI conviction is the “gift” that keeps on giving. Having an OWI conviction on your record can create trouble around every corner as you seek employment and housing. In addition to having a rough spot on your background check, you will likely pay increased auto insurance rates as a result of an OWI conviction.

The good news is that an OWI arrest does not have to lead to increased costs, failed background checks and ongoing difficulties. The best way to avoid the criminal, administrative and collateral consequences of an OWI is to have an experience defense lawyer on your side as soon as possible.