Being charged with driving while impaired (DWI) can be challenging. In Minnesota, you may face this charge if you are caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 or higher, although motorists can be charged at lower levels, provided alcohol affects their driving.
Drivers charged with this offense dread the penalties (fines, jail term and loss of driving license). But in addition to these, some also fear other people knowing about it. So, will your charge become public knowledge? Here is what you need to know.
It is a matter of public record
DWI charges are public information, which means you may be unable to keep yours private, especially if it involves an accident.
How can this affect you?
A DWI charge being public can lead to negative emotions. You may feel embarrassed, sad or angry. Common questions people facing a DWI ask themselves include:
- Will my charge be reported in the local news?
- Will my employer/coworkers know about it?
- How will my loved ones view me when they learn about it?
- Will it affect my custodial rights?
Understanding everyone makes a mistake and that a DWI charge does not define you can help you deal with the negative emotions you may experience. Further, although difficult, getting out of the house to reconnect with society, spending time with loved ones and volunteering with local charities can help. It can take time to be positive and courageous after a DWI charge, but with practical tips, you should regain control of your life.
A DWI charge will go on your criminal record, which means anyone can see it upon searching. Experienced legal guidance can help you avoid conviction and, potentially, expunge the charges from your record.