DUI / DWI

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DUI / DWI

If you have received a citation for Driving Under the Influence (a “DUI”) or for Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Impaired (a “DWI”), you will need to appear in court to answer the charges, and it’s always a good idea to have a lawyer with you. Many people do not realize that in many instances a DUI or a DWI is a crime: you have been charged by the government with the crime of driving or operating a vehicle while being so impaired by alcohol or other drugs that you could not legally operate the vehicle safely.

The penalties for a DUI or DWI and your likelihood of successfully contesting the charges vary depending on your level of intoxication/impairment, what the officer did to confirm your level of intoxication/impairment, as well as the laws of the state in which you were driving. It's important to realize that the laws, as well as the type of court you have to appear before to answer charges, vary from state to state. While some states have separate diversionary programs especially for DUI and DWI offenses, others treat them as misdemeanor or felony charges handled in regular criminal court.

As a practical matter, your likelihood of successfully contesting your DUI or DWI charges will depend on the local rules and customs of the court. Some states offer the opportunity to reduce a DUI or DWI charge if it's a driver's first such offense, and their BAC was below 0.08%. A DUI/DWI attorney will know these rules and customs and can advise you, help you understand your options and make a plan, and even go to court on your behalf.

Driving Under the Influence/Driving While Intoxicated

A DUI offense occurs when someone drives with prohibited amounts of alcohol in their bloodstream. While the federal legal Blood-Alcohol Content (“BAC”) limit is 0.08%, some states may pursue DUI charges at BAC levels of 0.01%, depending on the driver's age. In some states, a DUI can be charged based on erratic driving behavior, the suspicion of the influence of alcohol, a field sobriety test, or by the officer checking your BAC level via breathalyzer, in the field or at a police station.

Some states define a DWI as Driving While Intoxicated. In these states, there typically are no significant differences between DUI and DWI charges. Consequences include fines, the loss of your license, or even jail time. A Court Buddy DUI/DWI attorney will help defend you and protect your interests.

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