Driving while intoxicated, or DWI, is a serious offense in every state. Motorists who are found guilty of it face some of the most severe legal consequences, and the charge can have far-reaching impacts on their lives.
If you are facing this charge yourself, you should do everything possible to protect yourself legally and financially. Your first move should involve hiring one of the available DWI attorneys who practice in your area.
Using Your Prior Record to Your Advantage
One of the first steps that DWI attorneys take when defending clients involves checking out their clients' prior driving and criminal records. If both of yours are clean and free from serious infractions, they might be used to your advantage in court.
Your own attorney can show the judge and prosecutor that you have never before been in legal trouble and do not deserve for this first infraction to ruin your life, particularly if you did not cause any injuries or damage. He or she may be able to convince the judge to sentence you to probation or community service. You may even escape these sentences and instead be ordered to finish an alcohol rehabilitation program.
Working for Lesser Charges
If your prior driving or criminal record has infractions on it, that could be enough to garner harsher penalties from the judge. In these instances, DWI attorneys might move to bargain down charges against their clients. Yours, for example, might negotiate with the prosecutor to get a felony charge taken down to a misdemeanor.
However, a misdemeanor may not be possible if you caused extensive damage or if you injured another person. Still, your attorney can work to get you the least amount of punishment possible in court. He or she may be able to spare you from having to serve decades in prison or get you sentenced to a minimal or mid-level security prison.
Finally, DWI attorneys make sure that prosecutors have valid reasons to charge their clients. Your own lawyer might ask that the court have the urine or blood sample that was taken at your arrest re-tested. He or she can use that test to find out if you were legally drunk when you were pulled over and arrested for DWI.
DWI attorneys use a variety of legal maneuvers to help clients. They use clients' lack of prior driving or criminal offenses to their clients' advantage in court. They also bargain down charges and review the evidence that warranted their clients' arrests.