DWI – The Basic Criminal Charge
A DWI is when you drive while intoxicated. It does not necessarily mean that you get drunk driving. It is usually when you operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Here are some of the key elements that will need to be able to remember.
Did you ever wonder why the standard drunk driving laws require an extremely high level of blood alcohol content in order to be charged with a DWI? The answer is that the blood is usually analyzed at the lab, and the result will show whether you are actually drunk or not.
A significant amount of alcohol can be in the blood for a number of hours after you get out of the driver’s seat. Even if you are unaware of what you’ve done while driving, or even if you are extremely aware of what you’ve done, you may still not be able to account for the alcohol amount in your blood.
Now, you are likely aware that there are a number of DWI laws designed to protect yourself from any criminal charges. You may have wondered, though, whether there are other avenues in case you are found guilty of driving while intoxicated. You can bet that there are.
The first question you should ask yourself is, “What does a DWI entail?” Before we start talking about how a DWI can have a significant impact on your life, let’s first talk about what a DWI is not. An illegal DUI can have serious repercussions. It can lead to you losing your license to drive, you can be sent to jail and/or you may be forced to pay the legal fees.
There are usually no penalties for a DUI in your state. In most states, even a minor offense can lead to a criminal conviction. However, if your punishment is harsher than what you want, then you might consider suing your local or state government for violating your rights. Having the authorities prosecute you rather than you prosecute them is a very bad deal.
Many times, the most powerful person in your life – your family or your lawyer – will be the one to give you expert advice. You may have to wait until the actual violation of the law has happened before you can get an answer. There are some legal specialists that provide “know your rights” training for those who want to make a lawyer-client relationship. These lawyers may even handle traffic charges on your behalf.
The best advice is to avoid hiring a DWI lawyer to take care of your DWI. Yes, you may be able to get help through the courts. Your lawyer may be able to arrange for a pre-trial diversion program, or you may be able to negotiate for the defendant to accept a deferred prosecution.
While it may seem like it is much faster to take time out of your life and hit the road again, do not let the idea that it might take a little time to make up your mind sound appealing. The last thing you should do is put your life insurance on the line by becoming one of the hundreds of people who will be charged with DUI violations.
In the meantime, you may be able to stop the state from putting you in jail, under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Usually, the state will not take the case to court unless you plead guilty. While the state may be looking at this as a slap on the wrist, it is going to be in the best interest of the defendant and the state to settle the case for a lesser punishment. The victim, of course, is going to have to pay the legal fees for the victim.
It may be easier to remember what an alcohol level in a person’s blood is for some people than others. Having a drink or two before you drive does not necessarily mean that you are inebriated, especially when you drive. In fact, it does not mean that you are drunk. If you know that you are likely to be arrested for a DWI, it is time to ask yourself if you are going to get a chance to avoid a traffic ticket for your DWI in the first place.