Most people hope to go their entire lives without an arrest. Unfortunately, this could happen to anyone if authorities suspect a person of violating the law. You may do your best to stay on the straight and narrow, but if an officer suspects you of drunk driving, you could end up in a difficult, and possibly embarrassing, scenario.

Police officers regularly make arrests for drunk driving, and not every driver taken into custody is actually impaired or intoxicated. Roadside breath tests are commonly inaccurate, and other evidence officers use to make an arrest may not necessarily be reliable either. The downside is that officers could still arrest you based on what they consider probable cause.

What happens if an officer arrests you?

You may understandably begin to feel panicked if an officer states you are under arrest for DWI. Staying calm may not be easy, but knowing what to expect could help. If an officer does take you into custody, you could face the following procedures:

  • An officer putting you into a police vehicle and taking you to a nearby station or jail
  • Having your photograph and fingerprints taken during booking
  • Possibly having to stay overnight in jail or obtaining release by posting bail
  • Appearing in court to address the DWI charge

During your court appearances, you will have the ability to defend against the charges, which you will likely want to do. The manner in which you go about presenting a defense could depend on your available options, your wishes and other factors.

What if you face a conviction?

Though you certainly want to avoid a conviction, you may still want to know what penalties you could face if the court does convict you. Those consequences could include the following:

  • Losing your driver’s license temporarily or permanently
  • Paying fines
  • Going to jail
  • Carrying out the terms of probation
  • Attending DWI school or alcohol abuse education programs
  • Installing an ignition interlock device

Again, the exact outcome could depend on your circumstances. Nonetheless, avoiding any consequences would likely be your goal in such a scenario, so it is important to keep in mind that you have legal options. It may be worthwhile to contact a Minnesota criminal defense attorney soon after your arrest in order to gain reliable insight into your particular ordeal and how you could handle any charges.