Almost everyone has had a situation where they were driving after having an alcoholic beverage. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) are offenses and a person whose blood alcohol level exceeds the limit will be convicted. The legal limit, depending on the jurisdiction, is between 0.05 and 0.08%. Some jurisdictions have harsher conviction if the person has 0.12% or more.
The number of drivers who were caught while driving under the influence is quite high – in 2010, there were more than 1.4 million. It’s no wonder that there are lawyers out there who specialize in DUI and DWI cases.
It’s quite often that the public defender cases are DUI cases. Lawyers who specialize in DUI/DWI are experts in DUI/DWI laws of their state. The lawyer will explain the charges to his client and recommend the best course of action. He will also represent the client in court. Even though the client may plead guilty, a good lawyer will be able to lessen, even drop the charges quite early. All of this happens before the actual trial, on the pre-trial conference. A plea or sentence bargain is also possible.
There are several rules on how to act when being pulled over by a police officer because he suspects that you are driving under the influence – first of all, admitting will make it harder for the lawyer to prove you were innocent, so saying you are just tired is one option, but you can also choose to remain silent. Many people try to avoid any kind of testing, but this will make matters more complicated. It’s good to know that the officer can’t pull you over if there is no probable cause. Probable cause includes speeding or driving too slowly. If the officer notices that the person has slower reaction times or slurred speech, he may also demand testing. Knowing what you have to say and what you don’t will help your lawyer make a stronger case, which will increase the chances that the charges will be dropped.
The lawyer will also gather expert witnesses and investigators who will be able to back up his claims, and he will try to expose discrepancies within the charges or the procedures. A good DUI lawyer will know every single DUI law of his state, but he will also require good communication skills when dealing with prosecution, as well as his clients. Some clients may expect miracles from their lawyer, so it’s important for the lawyer to inform them of their options and rights. High organizational skills are also necessary, as the number of fine evidentiary details is high and only a capable lawyer will be able to handle all of that.
As the DUI/DWI arrest numbers grow, so does the demand for lawyers who specialize in such cases. When searching for a lawyer, make sure he is up to date with the laws. A DUI/DWI lawyer will have to keep up-to-date with changes and advancements to laws about driving under influence and driving while intoxicated. A continuing education is the only viable option for them if they want to be any good.