A brief introduction to DUI charges and DUI lawyers
To make this world a better place to live in with everyday increasing crime ‘laws’ are developed. The law intends to regulate and stabilize society. The individuals who are charged for the offenses are assisted by the criminal Defence lawyers. Depending on the nature of the crime they aim to defend the offenders who are falsely charged or who plead guilty to their act.
Criminal law includes many types of offenses like assault, kidnapping, harassment, burglary, theft, DUI, or more serious crimes like manslaughter and murder. So, the topic of interest i.e. laws for DUI (driving under the influence) is under the section of Criminal Laws.
Driving under the influence lies under the category of drunk driving and is described as driving a vehicle when the driver is not sober. Law has set a limit of one's blood alcohol content and when the driver exceeds the limit then the driver is not in a condition to drive a vehicle safely. The allowed level of blood alcohol content varies from one state to the other. Usually, it is 0.08% to 0.10%.
A DUI or DWI are sometimes taken as they are the same but the thing is, their meanings are different. Where having charged with any one of them will stain your driving record. DUI stands for driving under the influence. The individual who is driving the vehicle may have consumed alcohol or drugs. The drugs can be purchased without prescription or license while DWI refers to driving while intoxicated. This is also taken as Driving while impaired. The impairment could be because of consumption of alcohol, drugs, or sleepiness, or other factors that can lead to drowsiness. DUI and DWI are taken as similar to some degree in a circumstance, while in other circumstances the two terms could be distinct.
Other terms used
Other terms are used for drunk driving other than DUI and DWI. OUI refers to operating under the influence and is also used in some states. While some jurisdictions use OWI termed as operating while intoxicated or operating while impaired. The "operating" distinction is not only used for just driving the vehicle but also points to the case that if the vehicle is stationary and not running. Then the corresponding individual is charged as OWI or operating under the influence.
BAC termed as Blood Alcohol Content decides about the state of the drunken driver. BAC is calculated by taking a breath, blood, or urine test. If the content is below the legal limit the driver is declared to be impaired. There are different BAC limits in different parts of the world. In most countries, the BAC limit is at least 0.08% that can save you from being charged. While the BAC limit is 0.05% in Utah and some states increase the penalties if BAC is at least 0.15%.
Charges depending upon the state
Drunk and drugged driving statutes are very complicated. This is because the driver's impairment can lead to some serious harm. Therefore to decrease the chance of occurrence, the government of a state develops strict laws for them. There are different charges depending upon the state of a drunken driver. As already discussed, different countries have different restrictions in this regard. Most of them follow these rules (also BAC limits). The charges along with the BAC limits are described as:
● DWI - Driving while intoxicated with a BAC of at least 0.08%
● Aggravated DWI - Aggravated driving while intoxicated with BAC of at least 0.18%
● DWAI/alcohol - Driving while ability impaired by alcohol involves a BAC equal to or between 0.05% and 0.07%.
● DWAI/Drug - Driving while not being in a condition because of the consumption of drugs other than alcohol.
● DWAI/combination - Driving while ability impaired by the influence of both drugs or alcohol. These include greater penalties.
● Age is also a matter of attention in this crime. A driver who is under age is charged differently and BAC limits also vary.
Field Sobriety Test:
Whenever a duty police officer is suspicious about a driver that he may be drunk or not sober, a traffic police officer usually conducts a field sobriety test after a traffic stop. This test is carried out by using a device that measures the amount of alcohol by checking the driver’s breath i.e. a Breathalyzer Test. These tests allow an officer to observe a suspect’s mental state m, physical balance, attention level, or other factors that may help the officer make a decision about the suspect’s condition.
Kind of criminal offense
DUI offenses may be felonies or misdemeanors depending upon the seriousness of the act.
In many states, drunk driving is most likely included in misdemeanor offenses (imprisonments for a short period or paying a fine). But repeated offenders or the individuals who have caused someone severe injury or serious public disturbance confront felony charges. Also, those individuals with very high BAC are charged with a felony in some states And the penalties may include a long time in prison.
Penalties for drunk or drugged driving vary from state to state but some of them are mentioned as:
● Pay fines and court fee
● Loss of driver’s license
● Cancellation of car insurance
● Vehicle confinement
The state of the driver decides the severity of penalties. If the driver is arrested for impaired driving and is not convicted guilty will be facing severe punishments. If the drunken driver is declared guilty will probably pay a fine and lose his driver's license.
If the driver is arrested for a second offense, then the offender may spend some time in jail or there is a chance that he will be placed on probation and be directed to carry out community service. To get a driver's license back, it is required to attend defensive driving classes so that the offense doesn’t take place again.
Need of DUI lawyers
The individual who is arrested for a DUI offense is highly recommended to consult an experienced lawyer. Criminal lawyers or more specifically DUI lawyers, are specialized in all the procedures and are experts in defending the offender. To be sure of whether to have a DUI lawyer by your side or not, the offender can contact a lawyer online. Orange County DUI lawyer is specialized in this field. On contact, they provide a free consultation to the offenders about the sensitivity of the case. It is necessary because the lawyer knows all the procedures that need to be followed. For a defendant to plead guilty to the charges, the respective lawyer completely studies the case, looks for the possibilities, and builds defense for the case. For instance, there could have been a misunderstanding or mistake in the conduct of the DUI arrest of the offender. Not having a defense attorney can cost you a lot and the offender can confront huge consequences.
How do DUI Lawyers assist against DUI charges?
Anyone arrested for DUI charges is in critical need of a lawyer. Why is it necessary to have DUI lawyers by your side? This is important to analyze the need for DUI lawyers. They assist in the case by:
● Examine the case
● Look for the best available possibilities
● Removes misunderstanding and ambiguities
● Uses legal procedures
● Construct a defense
● Fights in the court using facts and circumstances
● Plead for a bargain against the charges
So, after the arrest for DUI charges it is best to look for a DUI lawyer as soon as possible. According to a study, in most countries, a DUI conviction is stained on the driving record for more than 50 years. Some countries extended this period to almost 75 years. It is not a short period however, with the assistance and legal knowledge of an experienced DUI lawyer, it is possible to dismiss or at least reduce the DUI charge. For instance, if the lawyer becomes successful in reducing or changing the charges against the offender, that is, amend the case to reckless driving that hasn’t caused any damage then the driving record instead of DUI, your driving record may stay flawless.
So, in a nutshell, whenever an individual consumes alcohol or drug or combination of alcohol and drug is under the influence. To a certain degree, the mental and physical abilities of that individual are impaired. This implies that he/she is no longer capable of driving a vehicle. The law for DUI is not under the Safety code but it is under the Vehicle Code. It is very important to realize that a DUI offense is a threat to the safety of the driver as well as others on the way. Also, the charges of this offense greatly cost the offender so it is better to avoid it. It is better to seek treatment for alcohol misuse to not get involved in a tragedy. Also, the studies showed that drunken driving cases have increased considerably over the past years. So, these offenses should be avoided as they don’t have any positive contribution to society.
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