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Whether you are guilty or not, if you have been charged with drinking and driving (DWI or DUI as it is known in most states) the punishment can range from a something as minor as a small fine and or period of probation, to something as severe and life altering as a felony conviction with time behind bars.
The most important thing is to immediately begin researching and getting referrals in order to find a good DWI or DUI attorney. Just as punishment for conviction of such offenses can vary widely, so can the ability of attorneys who will claim to be able to defend you in a drinking and driving case. The worst thing that you can do is simply hire an attorney based on a snazzy yellow pages ad or radio commercial in which they claim to be the "Top Gun DWI Lawyer" in town or the very best chance you have at avoiding conviction. Don't allow anyone to seduce you with big talk. Find out who they are and how they work, how successful have they been with their previous cases, what is their batting average. Would you bet on a game without knowing the wins and losses of the team you're betting on? Just as with anyone else you hire, you want to know they can do the job, not just tell you that they'll take care of it. You definitely want to find an attorney with a great track record in defending drunk driving charges. Even then there are of course no guarantees.
Remember, when you have been arrested and incarcerated and are facing what may seem like a bad nightmare were all hope is lost, it's easy to feel guilty, demoralized and desperate. You will need to pick your chin up and rise to the challenge of finding the very best defense at the very least you deserve this much.
Attorneys who specialize in drunk driving defense usually are very well versed in the intricacies of all of the critical elements of your type of case and how to argue them in court. Understand that if you case goes to trial, that the prosecution knows exactly how to present the science of every element of your arrest and charge in detail, everything from field sobriety testing (FST) to how Breathalyzers function. A good DWI attorney will be equally or even better educated and prepared to exploit any weakness in such elements of what might start to seem like an ironclad prosecution to a jury. Some Attorneys are actually lecturers on these subjects.
Different states will have different rules and your DUI or DWI defense attorney should be well aware of all of the rules and bylaws in your state like the 10 day rule in Georgia. So start right away, look around, talk to people, get referrals from attorneys who don't handle drunk driving cases, many times they can steer you to the best attorney in your town.
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