Unfortunately, road accidents have skyrocketed over the last few years, even though most areas have developed roads. You should note that driving while intoxicated has become one of the top-ranked causes of road carnage. There is a close relationship between DMV and DUI. The department of motor vehicles is one of the government sectors which do all they can to ensure there are as few DUI cases as possible.
This is why it becomes crucial to understand everything about driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. You may not be the culprit in a DUI road accident, but it is essential to know what to do if you find yourself in such a scenario. Fortunately, the number of professionals who can help you with the case has also increased.
Today, it is pretty easy to get a DWI defense attorney to represent you in court, whether you are the one in the wrong or not. Such legal experts will also educate you more on the subject, including drinking and driving jail time. Additionally, if you are in the wrong, your lawyer will help you get a more lenient drink and drive penalty. Finally, hiring such a lawyer increases your chances of getting hefty compensation if the accident you were in was caused by someone else.
The Difference Between a DWI and a DUI
DUI equates to “driving under the influence”, while DWI equates to “driving while intoxicated”. Depending on what state you are in they can mean the same thing, some something different. It can get muddled when states use both terms to mean slightly different things. In some states DWI will mean driving with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit, while DUI is used for someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
But then some states flip those two, so it can become even more confusing, if you have any questions, you have the right to fully understand what charges have been brought against you, and why. You can check your state’s laws online, or speak with DWI attorneys if you need clarification.
Penalties for a DWI
Depending on your state’s individual laws you could face:
- A hefty fine that could be thousands of dollars, not including court fees, attorney fees, and any additional costs that you personally can incur.
- Suspension of your licence, or the complete revocation of your licence, depending on the number of the offense, and the state convicted in.
- Potential jail time or community service, in some cases even both.
- Mandatory alcohol treatment classes, or substance abuse evaluations.
- Possible mandatory DUI or traffic school classes.
- Additional fees to get your licence back, and potential annual fees in order to keep in instated.
- Limited driving privileges that could even include an ignition locking device.
- You may have to file for SR 22 insurance, with increased rates.
The penalties can be quite severe, and without a criminal defense attorney to help you navigate the court system and explain options, you could end up facing more penalties than necessary.
Finding the right DWI attorney for you isn’t as simple as opening a phone book and picking the first that stands out. Take some time and review your choices. Here are some additional tips to help you find the best DWI defense.
- Try to get references if you can. If you know people who have previously gone through the process, as if they would recommend the attorney they used.
- Make sure to choose a lawyer that has specific experience handling DWI cases. You want to make sure you have the best representation possible, which is better done with someone who knows they system, and the specific laws the surround DWI’s, having worked with them before. A civil case lawyer, for instance, is probably not the best option for this case.
- Try and choose a DWI attorney that operates specifically in the county or city where you’ve been charged. This means they will be familiar with the particular laws in that location, and may have relationships working with the courts and local law enforcement. This means you chances of getting a lower penalty are increased.
- Feel free to schedule a consultation with multiple DWI attorneys, this can give you insight as to if you feel comfortable with them, in addition to what they think about your overall case. These consultations are usually free so don’t hesitate to shop around so you can find someone you trust.
- Ask about any fees and costs upfront. This can give you an estimate of how much you will end up paying for the representation. Be sure to get all the financial information during a consultation, before deciding on which DWI attorney to choose.
A good attorney can make a world of difference in your case, and it is recommended not to try and represent yourself. An experience attorney will know the laws, and will know how to navigate the system for the best outcome possible.