By: Lora Davis
DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence but in some states it is called DWI, Driving While Intoxicated. There are strict laws in all of fifty states for those that are caught doing driving when they are intoxicated. If you are stopped for suspicious behavior the law enforcement officer can do a field sobriety test if the drive has slurred speech, has a strong odor of alcohol on them or general incoherence. They can also ask permission to do a BAC, which stands for Blood Alcohol Content test if the driver does not demonstrate good motor skills or judgment during the field tests. The BAC test will show the percentage of alcohol that is in their bloodstream and if it is over the legal limit, which in many states is 0.10% BAC, the driver can be arrested for DWI.
If a person is caught DUI it can have severe consequences. This is why many hire a DWI lawyer to help them get the minimum required sentence. The DUI lawyer is the type of lawyer that will handle all aspects of the case from the beginning to the end. When you hire them they will set up a consultation so they can explain all the possible scenarios that you could face if convicted of this crime. It could result in a revoked or suspended driving license, jail time, fines, fees, or a combination of any of these. An experienced DUI lawyer will generally challenge the arrest and try to convince the Court to lower the charges. They may even attempt to have the sentence against the defendant, one charged with the DUI, reduced. The DUI lawyer will also dispute whether the law enforcement officer was within their constitutional rights to stop the car. The lawyer may also in court question whether the test done was accurate or not.
They will also clarify any legal issues and make sure that you understand what is happening now and what could happen in the months following. For example, the lawyer can give you the details on what type of sentence is expected for someone who is convicted of DUI for the first time versus one who has been convicted before. With a DUI there are generally several hearings in Court, starting with the hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles, ending with the State or County Court. At each hearing the DUI lawyer will be there to advocate for the defendant.
When you are charged with a DUI take the time to research lawyers that specialize in this field. When choosing a DUI lawyer choose one that has a good track record with a lot of wins in court. You also should consider the fees they charge, per hour or a flat fee.