Every state considers driving while intoxicated by liquor or other drugs, including prescription pharmaceuticals, to be a felony. The crime is known by many names, depending on the state: Driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI). Want to know how to defend against criminal charges? Even if blood alcohol content (BAC) testing indicates intoxication, a knowledgeable defense attorney may work to get the case dropped or the charges reduced. Additionally, lawyers may even try to bargain for reduced penalties and treatment diversion programs.
What happens upon conviction?
Depending on how serious it is and the fact that it is the defendant’s first offense, a DUI conviction will result in criminal punishment (such as community service, a fine, or possibly jail time) and a driver’s license suspension. A lawyer might be able to help the defendant get their license back with certain conditions, including having to use a device called an ignition interlock device (IID) or only being allowed to drive to and from work.
Although most DUI cases are handled at the state level, if someone is caught operating a vehicle while intoxicated on federal property, such as a national park, forest, monument, government building, military base, or adjacent parking lot, they may also be charged with a federal DUI. If military members are discovered driving while intoxicated, they may be prosecuted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
How can a lawyer help?
Because it may be so harmful to other drivers, drunk or impaired driving is a severe offense and is treated seriously by the courts. As a result, a DUI case has very high stakes. A DUI conviction often results in a lengthy license suspension, a significant fine, and sometimes even jail time (particularly if it is a second offense). Even if the defense attorney is unsuccessful in getting the prosecution to drop the charges, he or she might be able to negotiate a lesser sentence or other favorable terms.
Scared of what may happen? Contact a skilled and qualified DUI attorney in your region if you have been accused of driving under the influence. Although legal counsel may not be inexpensive, a knowledgeable DUI attorney should be able to help you with the outcome of your case. See Hire a DUI Lawyer for more information on how a DUI lawyer might benefit your case.