In criminal law, DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. In many states, this crime is commonly known as a DUI, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The penalties and procedures of a DWI case can vary based on the circumstances and the location where the DWI took place. In most states, a DWI charge will follow set minimums on penalties based on specific convictions. If it is a first time DWI charge, the fine might be set at a particular minimum, license suspension may have a minimum, and potential jail time (though not likely on a first offense) may have a particular minimum. Sometimes penalties may also include attendance at a DUI school or drug and alcohol education/rehabilitation program, community service, forfeiture of the vehicle entirely, or mandatory ignition interlocks (a system by which one cannot operate the vehicle without first passing a breathalyzer test).
A good DWI defense is necessary in many (if not all) DWI cases. The laws and procedures in DWI defense cases can get quite complicated and complex, therefore it is important to consult with a lawyer who specializes in DWI defense law. There are a number of DWI defense points that can be used in a DWI case. First, because the DWI charges are criminal in nature, the burden of proof rests on the prosecution to prove that you were operating a vehicle while intoxicated. The prosecution must be able to prove that you were the one driving the vehicle, which- in some circumstances- may be difficult to discern.
DWI defense may include the suppression of evidence if the arresting officer did not have sufficient cause to stop, arrest, and detain an individual for the crime of a DWI. If the officer neglected to inform the defendant of his/her Miranda or Implied Consent rights, some evidence in the case might be inadmissible (such as refusing chemical testing, which can increase fines and license suspension in a DWI case). There also exists a wide range of problems pertaining to chemical testing for drugs and alcohol. These tests can often be inaccurate due to several factors such as time of alcohol consumption related to the time of the test, radio frequency interference, and several other complex physiological and procedural factors. Complications with testing may provide a good point in DWI defense.
Often a good DWI defense is necessary during the Department of Motor Vehicles hearing. This is where license suspension and revocation matters are decided. A number of issues can be raised by the DWI defense team in these hearings which can help defendants regain the privilege of driving as soon as possible.
DWI laws are complex and quite complicated at times. DWI laws are always changing and are always subject to the place in which the DWI incident took place. A good DWI defense is best achieved by working with a trained legal professional who knows the current laws and how to work them into a strong DWI defense.