The world can feel different after an arrest. Feelings of guilt can turn into anxiety and the world seems to want you to fail. But people should keep their will and their wits about them after an arrest because there are good reasons to avoid a conviction on serious charges.

Convictions for felonies and serious misdemeanors can follow people long after the consequences of their actions have seemed to settle. Some people may be denied consideration for employment based on past criminal activities. Careers in progress may also suffer.

For example, a Minnesota fire chief resigned the top spot in his city’s fire department after his arrest on drunk driving charges. This occurred just after he was scheduled to appear in court and faces charges of driving while impaired. He was discovered after someone reported seeing him passing a vehicle in a no-passing zone and swerving out of the driving lane.

Firefighters often must maintain a driver’s license with more training and qualifications than the average driver, and Minnesota regulates driving under the influence more strictly for these drivers. A license may be suspended for a blood alcohol level (BAL) of more than 0.04 percent. The former fire chief had a BAL of 0.22, more than five times higher.

There are defenses to make against drunk driving charges or a refusal to submit to an alcohol level test like a Breathalyzer. It is advisable to consult with legal representation before reacting to an arrest for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. An attorney can work with law enforcement officials and prosecutors to explore your options other than conviction.