If you have been involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you are plunged into a pool of stress and anxiety that you may fail to think clearly. Many things will be going through your mind, including how you will get compensation for the damages and injuries sustained. Amidst the confusion, it’s essential
It is a crime in every state in the US for a motorist to operate a car while impaired by the effects of alcohol or drugs. Depending on the state, this criminal offense can be referred to as driving while intoxicated (DWI), driving under the influence (DUI), operating under the influence (OUI), or a similar term.
If you have been arrested and charged with DUI/DWI, it is critical to hire one of our experienced DUI lawyers to handle your case. A professional DUI/DWI attorney will assess your situation and guide you through the drunk driving laws in your state to ensure you are not convicted of DUI or get a lesser sentence.
Keep in mind that if you are charged with DUI, the consequences can have a serious impact on your future life. For instance, an auto insurance company may use it as an excuse to deny you insurance coverage. In such a case, you will be forced to purchase a high-risk insurance cover that may be extremely expensive.
What Is the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI Charge?
Driving under the influence, commonly referred to as DUI, is usually associated with drunk driving. Still, it can be applied to motorists who are driving under the influence of drugs or prescription medications.
Some states also provide for a “per se” offense. This means that a motorist will be assumed to have committed a crime if he/she operates a vehicle on a road/highway with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08% regardless of whether they are impaired or not.
Most states are using terms such as “operating a car” or “being in physical control of the vehicle” to broaden situations in which one may easily be convicted of DUI.
On the other hand, what usually constitutes DWI may be state-specific. For instance, in some states, DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated” and is basically a synonym for DUI. However, in other states, DWI stands for “driving while impaired.”
In such states, any form of impairment can provide grounds for conviction, including driving while physically incapable of controlling the car or driving while falling asleep.
Which One Is Worse Between the Two?
In most states, a DWI offense is much more serious than DUI since it signals relatively higher levels of intoxication. As such, a DWI charge may attract harsher penalties even for first-time offenders. In some cases, a first-time DWI offender may have their charge downgraded to a DUI.
But this doesn’t mean that the penalties for a DUI are any better. Both offenses are taken seriously in all states and may result in both criminal and administrative charges.
It is also good to note that in states with “implied consent,” motorists are required to take a breathalyzer test at the request of a traffic police officer. Refusal to take the test will automatically result in a mandatory suspension of one’s driving privileges.
Contact us today and let us help you find the legal representation you deserve.
What are the Penalties for DUI/DWI?
Each state has a different sentencing and fine scheme for DUI/DWI convictions. Most states are lenient to first-time offense and allow it to be charged as a misdemeanor. However, drunk driving laws are harsher on individuals found guilty on multiple occasions and may attract hefty fines and longer jail times.
Penalties that you may face if you are convicted of a DUI/DWI charge include fines, imprisonment, mandatory alcohol assessment & treatment, probation, and community service.
First-time offenders risk facing up to six months in jail if found guilty, which may be increased further if there are aggravating factors such as an unusually high blood-alcohol concentration.
Subsequent DUI offenses will generally lead to longer jail term sentences. In fact, you risk spending several years behind bars if you are involved in a DUI felony that has killed or injured someone.
You may also be fined amounts ranging from $500 to $2,000 or more depending on the state. Furthermore, the judge may order the installation of an ignition interlock device on your car at your own expense.
The ignition interlock device requires a motorist to blow into a simple unit installed on the vehicle’s dashboard, and if the blood-alcohol content level detected is above the set limit, the driver won’t be able to start the car.
Your driving license may also be suspended or revoked if you are charged with DUI/DWI. Each state has its own term on the actual length of license suspension. In most cases, a first-time offense will attract a 90-day license suspension.
During the suspension time, you can apply for a restricted license that only allows you to drive to school or work. If you refuse to take the BAC test, your driver’s license can be suspended regardless of whether you are convicted or not.
Charged with DUI/DWI? Contact an Experienced Attorney Today!
Have you been charged with DUI/DWI? Don’t waste time; you need help now to avoid running into potentially big trouble. With one of our experienced DUI lawyers, you can be sure that you will navigate through this situation and get a favorable outcome.
The truth is that you can avoid hefty fines, jail term, and license suspension even if it is your third offense. Our attorney will calm your fears and assess your situation in the best possible way.
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