Jail Time for 1st Offense DWI in Arkansas

Q.  So can I actually go to jail on a 1st Offense DWI?

A.  Yes.  The mininum sentence for a 1st Offense DWI is 24 hours in the county jail. Furthermore, this sentence is mandatory. The judge does not have the ability to sentence you to less than 24 hours.

In some courts, the standard sentence on every 1st Offense DWI is actually MORE than 1 day in jail. If that occurs (meaning, if you plead guilty or are found guilty), you will return to the county jail to complete your sentence. Regardless of what court you are in or whom your judge is, the specific facts in your case are also important in the sentence the judge may impose on you if you plead guilty or are found guilty. The judge has the power to sentence you to anywhere between 1 day and 1 year in the county jail.

Significant jail time (i.e. more than a few days) on a 1st Offense DWI typically occurs in situations where 1) you have a lifetime history of prior DWI's, 2) there was an accident involved, 3) you had a BAC above a .15 to .20 (depending on the court/judge), 4) drugs were found on you or in your vehicle, 5) you were charged with other significant offenses as part of the DWI, etc.

This is part of the reason why it is important to try to win your Arkansas DUI or DWI case if you can.