No one ever plans for the day when they are pulled over by an officer and then placed into handcuffs on accusation of being under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or another impairing substance. After the arrest, you may be wondering what your options are in protecting yourself from the very worst of the potential consequences. It is strongly advised that you talk with a reputable criminal defense lawyer in your town to find out how they can be of help to your case. Trust us when we say that representing yourself during a criminal defense case can prove detrimental to your life now, and future opportunities.
Is a DUI and a DWI the same thing?
Not exactly. You can be charged with either a DWI or DUI, but the one you receive will depend on the circumstances of the arrest and what state you live in. For example, you may be charged with a DWI specifically if you have a BAC of more than 0.07%, but less than 0.08% and your driving was impaired. A DUI charge is more severe than a DWI and is given when the driver’s blood alcohol content is greater than 0.08%.
What are the repercussions for a DUI?
Facing a DUI conviction is scary. The person arrested and his or her family members may be apprehensive about how this conviction may affect freedom now and opportunities in the future. That is why consulting with a lawyer can be so beneficial, as you have someone to advocate for the arrestee and can negotiate with the prosecution and/or judge to reduce penalties. The most costly and long-term consequences from a DUI include the following:
● Spending up to 12 months in jail
● Fines and fees upwards of $1,000
● Mandatory order to put an interlock device into the ignition of your vehicle
● Decreased employment opportunities
If you have already been charged with a DUI or DWI and want to try and get it hidden from your record, your lawyer can evaluate whether you are eligible for expungement. A petition is filed to the court and can take around six weeks for processing. Felony DUIs may take longer, and by comparison, a misdemeanor DUI may be approved/denied in only a couple weeks.
What can a lawyer provide for me that I would not be able to do myself?
Lawyers are knowledgeable and experienced in legalities. So unless you have studied criminal law yourself and are a practicing lawyer for defense cases, chances are you will find it difficult to understand the legal process and advocate for yourself properly. To stand alone without dependable legal representation may result in you enduring the very worst of the DUI/DWI punishments. Your lawyer can create defense strategies, advocate for your character, and bring forward evidence to help you avoid jail time and a tarnished reputation. In addition to a criminal lawyer, if you were the victim of a DUI, you may want to speak to a personal injury lawyer as well.
If you need guidance after a recent arrest for a DUI or DWI, speak with a reputable law office in your area about a free consultation and case assessment.