Imagine you’re leaving the stadium or arena, after having enjoyed a performance from your favorite singer or group. The police pull you over and put you through the process of testing your sobriety. Even though you haven’t had any alcohol, or perhaps had just a small drink that wouldn’t put you over the legal limit, the police charge you with either a DWI or a DUI.
What Can You Do to Straighten out a DUI Charge, before Trial?
If you’re arrested on DWI charges, it’s likely that you’ll be arraigned quickly and given the chance to enter a plea. If you’re innocent, it’s important to enter a not guilty plea and refuse any plea bargains offered by the district attorney’s office. It’s still early in the process and anything can happen, before a trial begins. Even before a trial, the prosecutor may end up dropping your DWI charges for any number of reasons. Commonly, the case may be dropped if the arresting officer can’t show probable cause for the initial traffic stop. Additionally, false results on the breathalyzer test or illegally obtained blood samples can result in a dismissal of charges.
When Officers Blur the Lines
Entrapment is another example of a tainted DWI case. Police may tell an intoxicated individual that he cannot “sleep it off” in his car and charge him with a DWI as soon as he drives off. This is just one example of entrapment. Any situation in which the law enforcement officer compels the commission of the crime is considered entrapment. In DWI cases, that may mean forcing a well-intentioned citizen to drive drunk, when he never intended to do so. Also, officers may presume you’re drunk, based only on your appearance. Bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and staggered walking can be signs of health issues, such as a stroke or very high blood sugar content. Even so, police often first presume that an individual with these symptoms is actually intoxicated. Making that assumption, officers may not investigate any further, offering testimony in lieu of conducting a breathalyzer.
Working with a DWI Lawyer is in Your Best Interest
Whether you’re guilty of driving while intoxicated or you really are innocent of the charges, enlisting the help of an experienced DWI attorney is the best thing you can do for yourself. In addition to knowledge of the DWI laws in your area, your attorney will be familiar with the problems of prosecuting a DWI case and how best to attack the prosecutor’s evidence. Whether it means contesting the proof previously mentioned, or establishing new evidence to expose your innocence, a DWI lawyer can help you achieve victory in court.
Sometimes a Plea Bargain is Your Best Option
As a last resort, some DWI defendants will accept a plea bargain, whether they’re innocent or guilty of the DWI charges. If a conviction seems likely, the defense attorney may often advise his client to consider any available plea bargain offered by the prosecutor. As technological advances provide greater accuracy in field sobriety tests, plea bargains are becoming less common. New advances in testing blood alcohol levels make errors far less common. Additionally, lower tolerance by the courts and public opinion affect the prosecutor’s willingness and authority to offer deals in the first place. Even cases where the blood alcohol content was borderline, prosecutors are obtaining convictions, so plea bargains are redundant.
Even in circumstances where you are innocent of the DWI charges, it’s important to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Getting a lawyer involved early can mean avoiding a conviction altogether, or it can mean being subjected to a less severe penalty. The prosecutor has full knowledge of your state’s DWI laws. Retaining a lawyer with comparable experience and knowledge can make a huge difference.