If you face a drinking and driving charge, here is what a DWI defense lawyer wants you to know.
Facing an alcohol-related criminal charge can be a little easier if you do what the typical DWI defense lawyer believes is best. What these things are will depend on the specific facts of your case, although the following is a list of some general concepts that apply in most situations.
Say as Little as Possible
In many criminal cases, what the defendant says ends up being the single most important piece of evidence for a conviction. Whether it’s admitting to the crime or volunteering a fact the prosecution can use as evidence, there is so much that can go wrong by talking too much.
For the most part, if a police officer detains or arrests you, you do not need to say anything. Pretty much the only thing you should be saying is that you want to speak with a lawyer. Even explaining yourself can provide evidence that a good prosecutor can twist to make you look guilty.
You might think that explaining how this is all a big mistake or how you didn’t do anything wrong will mean you get to go free with no charges placed against you. But this is rarely what happens and what you just told the police is permanent. Even if you later realize you said the wrong thing to the police when they arrest you, if you try to change your story, the prosecution will make you out to be a liar.
Hire an Attorney
Because the law is so complicated and it’s hard to know what you should or should not say to the police, it’s vital to hire an attorney. Not only will your attorney guide you when talking to the police, but they can also help you get the best deal possible should you go to court and face a trial.
Jail or prison time is not always guaranteed just because the prosecution charges you with a crime. You can plea bargain and negotiate a difference penalty and in some cases avoid severe penalties. But you won’t know of these alternatives, let alone how to set them up, unless you have an attorney. Remember, the prosecution is not your friend and not in the business of helping defendants. A prosecutor must act ethically, but that doesn’t mean getting you the smallest criminal sentence possible.
Driving While Drunk Is Expensive
When facing an alcohol-related charge, defendants face not only criminal penalties, like being in jail, but monetary ones as well. These can include penalties such as like fines, dealing with lost income due to a suspended license and having to pay rising insurance rates. So even if you don’t mind a criminal conviction or arrest on your record, you will probably mind having to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees, court costs and criminal fines on top of higher insurance rates.
Don’t Give Up
You might think that you are guilty and there is no way you can mount a legal defense, but there is always a defense, plea bargain or program that can help you and lessen the impact of a criminal DWI conviction. Perhaps prison time is a guarantee in some situations, but rarely will the amount of prison time be absolute. Two years in prison for an alcohol-related offense is a serious punishment, but it’s a lot better than four years.
Click to learn more about hiring a DWI defense lawyer by contacting the Wilbanks Law Firm, P.C. online.