It is illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. People who are caught doing so can be charged with an OWI, which means "operating while intoxicated." If you are arrested for a drug- or alcohol-based driving offense, you may be subject to jail time and additional penalties if you are convicted. An attorney who specializes in OWI cases can help you navigate your way through the criminal justice system to receive the most favorable outcome possible. Here are some things an OWI attorney can do for you:
1. Have evidence dismissed if it was obtained illegally.
OWI convictions are made on the basis of evidence. Breathalyzer tests and blood tests can be used to show that a person was intoxicated over the legal limit while driving. However, law enforcement officers must follow legal protocols when interacting with suspects. If you were not informed of your rights at the time of your arrest or if the evidence in your case was handled improperly, an OWI lawyer may be able to help you by getting the evidence dismissed. Dismissal of improperly obtained evidence is one way that lawyers can help you to protect your rights.
2. Help you to secure a favorable sentence.
In some cases, law enforcement officers may have a solid case against you. If your OWI lawyer doesn't believe that you will win in trial, they may suggest taking a plea deal, if offered. This can save you time and money in the form of court expenses. It can also allow you to obtain a reduced sentence in exchange for pleading guilty to the charges against you. OWI lawyers can ensure that you receive a fair sentence. For instance, you may be able to attend alcohol education classes and be put on probation rather than being sentenced to time in prison.
3. Represent you in a court of law.
If you are arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence, you will be kept in jail until the time of your trial. Alternatively, you can post bail to leave jail as long as you show up for your court date. An OWI attorney can represent you in court when your court date arrives. Your lawyer will defend you against the charges brought against you to the best of their ability, which means that they will strive to show that you were not necessarily impaired at the time of your arrest.
Contact a local OWI lawyer to learn more.