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Fayetteville, AR DWI/DUI Attorneys

Fayetteville, AR DWI/DUI Defense Attorneys

In Arkansas, law enforcement and the courts mean business when it comes to drunk driving. There is no leniency. Avoid trying to represent yourself. Call an experienced and highly trained DWI/DUI attorney at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield. DWI/DUI cases are complicated and one wrong step can land you in hot water with the law, and ruin your life. Anyone can make a mistake.

Maybe that was you behind the wheel of a car after a long week at work and stopping for a drink. Maybe that was you who was stopped and had to blow and you did not pass. Maybe that was you that ran a red stoplight. Maybe that was you who could not park your vehicle smoothly after a few drinks. Maybe you are in a world of hurt. You need to take action quickly, or risk fines, jail time, paying out a lot of money in fees, and losing your driver’s license. Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08% or higher is illegal in Arkansas.

How DWI and DUI Charges Work in Fayetteville, Arkansas

In Arkansas, there are two ways a driver can be charged with DWI/DUI, and while both sound the same, they are considered to be different. (A.C.A. § 5-65-103)

The first way a suspected drunk driver may be charged is if they were in physical control of a vehicle while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The term intoxicated means ingestion of a substance that changed the driver’s motor and cognitive skills thus becoming incapable of safely driving/controlling the vehicle.

The second way a suspected drunk driver may be charged is if the driver was physically controlling a vehicle, and the breathalyzer results or blood alcohol content (BAC) was .08 or higher.

Put another way, driving while impaired by drugs and/or alcohol is a very big deal in the State. A first-time DWI/DUI driver can land in jail for up to one year. You read that right: a first-time DWI/DUI driver can go to jail for a year. Add in bail money, interlock fees, fines, court costs, towing and impound fees, reinstatement fees, and attorney’s fees, and the financial impact can be close to $10,000.

Another important fact to know is that there is an offense for underage DWI/DUI in Arkansas, which applies to those under the age of 21. A.C.A. § 5-65-303 states this offense has been committed when the person is under the influence of alcohol and their ability to safely drive is compromised and/or, they have a BAC or breath concentration registering between .02 and.079.

We strongly encourage you to reach out to our DWI/DUI attorneys at the Fayetteville Law Office of Justin M. Hatfield. We know the system inside out and are on your side to get you released. You do not want to try and defend yourself or even just plead guilty because you were told all you have to do is pay a fine and go to some classes. This gets you into a deeper mess. Talk to us at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield. We’re on your side.

What is Implied Consent Law mean in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, law enforcement and the courts are very serious about drunk driving. At the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, our attorneys are very serious about protecting your rights. If you have been arrested for DWI/DUI, reach out to us. We’re here to help.

The Implied Consent Law means that if an individual drives a vehicle, they are deemed to have implicitly agreed to take a chemical test to determine their blood alcohol concentration. Put another way, if you drive on State roads, you are deemed to have agreed to take a breathalyzer test when asked. It is important to note that a suspected drunk driver does not have to verbally agree to participate in a breath, blood, or urine test. The mere fact that they were in a vehicle and driving allows the law to infer permission was given.

If a driver is unconscious, and cannot refuse to test, they are still deemed to have consented to testing. However, the police must seek a warrant for a blood test whether the driver is conscious or unconscious.

The Implied Consent Law applies to underage drivers AND those over the age of 21 if/when:

  • The driver was arrested while DWI/DUI.
  • The driver caused an accident while DWI/DUI.
  • The driver was arrested for DWI/DUI, and police have reasonable cause to believe the driver is inebriated.

Types of Penalties for a First Time DWI/DUI Offense

The police and courts in Arkansas do not mess around when it comes to drinking and driving. The severity of penalties depends on your driving record.

The penalties are stiff for a first-time offender and include:

  • One day to one year behind bars.
  • A fine of up to $1,000.
  • Court costs of at least $300.
  • Suspended driver’s license for six months.

Penalties for a second-offense include:

  • One week to one year in jail.
  • A fine of up to $3,000.
  • Court costs of at least $300.
  • A two-year driver’s license suspension.

Penalties for a third-offense include:

  • 3 months to 1 year in jail.
  • Fine of up to $5,000.
  • Court costs of $300 or more.
  • License suspension for 2 1/2 years.

Penalties for a fourth-offense include:

  • 1 to 6 years behind bars.
  • Up to a $5,000 fine.
  • Court costs of at least $300 or more.
  • Loss of driver’s license for up to 4 years.

DWI/DUI Charging in Arkansas for Underage Drivers

Driving drunk as an underage is an unclassified misdemeanor. However, the penalties can be stiff.

For a first-time underage offender, the penalties can include:

  • License suspension for 3 months.
  • Fines range from $100 to $500.
  • Driver and alcohol education program attendance and completion.

For a second offense by an underage driver, the penalties can include:

  • License suspension for 12 months.
  • Fines range from $200 to $1,000.
  • A minimum of 30-days of public service work.
  • Driver and alcohol education program attendance and completion.

For a third and subsequent offenses by an underage driver, penalties can include:

  • Revoked license for three years, or until the driver turns 21 (whichever is longer)
  • Fines range from $500 to $2,000.
  • A minimum of 60-days of public service work.
  • Driver and alcohol education program attendance and completion.
  • Are DWI/DUI citations/convictions possible for taking prescribed medication or for smoking weed?
  • DWI/DUI citations/convictions are indeed possible for taking prescribed medication or for smoking weed. Intoxicated includes any controlled substance including medications.
  • If you are unable to pass the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) while taking medication and driving, you face being charged with DWI/DUI. The fact that you were prescribed medications to take is not considered to be a defense.

What Happens If You Do Not Win Your DWI/DUI Case

If you have retained a DWI/DUI attorney at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, we fight fiercely for your rights. We have a good track record defending these types of cases. And, we fill you in on other things that you need to know to understand the process and the system.

What you may not know about DWI/DUI in Arkansas are some startling facts that factor into how your case is handled in the courts. Unless you win your DWI/DUI, the following may happen:

  • You find yourself doing serious time in jail and paying fines, and court fees. Those expenses may go as high as $5,300.
  • Your driver’s license is suspended for at least 6 months, depending on how serious the charges are. This can happen if you lose your license hearing.
  • There is a chance you end up paying for an Interlock Ignition Device for your vehicle, for a minimum of 6 months. This can happen if you lose your license hearing.
  • Payment for any substance or alcohol abuse treatments comes out of your pocket.
  • If there was an individual in your car, under the age of 16, when you were arrested, jail time may increase.
  • It may be harder to get and you have to pay higher prices for life, car, and health insurance.
  • Payment for a victim impact panel comes out of your pocket.
  • Traveling out of the country may become more difficult.
  • You may be fired from your job.
  • Your credit rating may take a hit.
  • You may have difficulty getting a job in the future.
  • You may not be able to rent a car.

As you can see, Arkansas is deadly serious about drinking and driving. You must speak to a skilled DWI/DUI attorney at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield. We can help you navigate the system, explain your rights, and how things may turn out, and prepare your case for trial to ensure you are fully represented at all stages of the DWI/DUI defense process.

Can A Driver Lose Their Driver’s License After a DUI Accident?

If an individual in Arkansas is arrested for DWI/DUI, their driver’s license is immediately seized by the police. The driver is given a thirty-day temporary license. If the driver wishes to contest losing their license, they have seven days to do so. If they are not successful, the license is suspended or revoked depending on the case circumstances, prior convictions, and the driver’s age.

To have driving privileges returned, the driver must:

  • Enter and complete a drug/alcohol education or treatment program.
  • Successfully finish a Victim Impact Panel class.
  • When required, install an Ignition Interlock Device.
  • Pay the reinstatement fee.
  • If required, pass the Arkansas driver’s license exam.

Can the Prosecution Dismiss a DWI/DUI Charge?

No, the prosecutor cannot dismiss a DWI/DUI charge. In Arkansas, a DWI arrest “must” be dealt with by either a not guilty verdict at trial or a plea of guilty. This particular charge is the only one a prosecutor cannot dismiss. Put another way, for a DWI/DUI charge, you either go with a plea offer or go to trial.

How Long Does a DWI/DUI Conviction Stay on my Driving Record?

The current length of time a DWI/DUI conviction remains on your driving record in Arkansas is 10 years. However, there have been attempts to change the “look back period.” It is likely that a DWI/DUI conviction may become a permanent part of your driving record in the not-so-distant future.

Contact the Fayetteville Office of Jason M. Hatfield Today

If you were charged/arrested in a Fayetteville DWI/DUI stop, call us at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield at (479) 361-3575. Our dedicated team of criminal defense attorneys is here to help.

Call us today for a free initial consultation and to find out what you can expect should you be charged with the criminal offense of DWI/DUI. We know you have questions, and we can answer them. The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield is just one quick call away: (479) 361-3575.


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