It's easy to minimize the impact a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge brings. Unfortunately, DWI charges and convictions carry far stiffer penalties than in the past. The punishment, even for first-time offenders, can be life-altering and can affect your employment, your driving privileges, your freedom, and your financial situation. There should never be any doubt in your mind of the need for a criminal defense attorney to work on your case. To find out more about why an attorney is so important, read on.
Bail is Not a Given
While being able to get bailed out is the usual way of dealing with arrests, it's not guaranteed. A lot depends on the nature of the charges, your criminal record, and local and state laws. If your arrest involved a high blood alcohol concentration, an accident, injuries, a minor child, or other complicating factors, you might not be offered bail. That is where an attorney comes in. You will need a bail hearing if you are not offered bail, and your attorney will argue that you are not a risk to the public. The judge, for example, might change their mind and give you bail if you agree to wear an ankle monitor or agree to be randomly tested for alcohol.
Building Evidence for Your Case
Once you get out of jail, it's time to work on proving your innocence. DWI cases are based on evidence gathered at the scene. That means footage from the time of the roadside stop, the field sobriety tests, and your arrest must be examined for evidence of illegal actions by law enforcement. You can have your charges reduced or even dropped if such evidence of wrong-doing can be found and brought to the attention of the prosecution by your attorney.
Go For a Plea Bargain
Plea bargains are the preferred manner of dealing with all types of arrests. It keeps the courts free to try more serious cases and makes things quicker for the accused. You will, in all likelihood, be offered a plea deal for your DWI charges. This means giving up the right to a trial by your peers and accepting a guilty plea and sentence all in one motion. Unfortunately, those without legal representation can be taken advantage of during plea bargain negotiations. Your attorney can advise you on the pros and cons of either going to trial or accepting the plea.
Don't play around with your DWI – speak to a DWI lawyer like Carl L. Britt, Jr. to learn more.