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The Important Work Of A DWI Lawyer In Dealing With The Prosecuting Attorney

One of the key ways a lawyer can have a positive impact on your arrest for driving while intoxicated involves working directly with the prosecuting attorney's office. By working with the prosecution before your case goes in front of a judge, your lawyer may help you avoid having to go to court altogether. Being arrested does not necessarily mean being charged, and being charged does not necessarily mean having to proceed to court.

About the Prosecuting Attorney in DWI Cases

Most commonly, people arrested for DWI -- known as driving under the influence (DUI) in some jurisdictions -- do not fight the charges, especially if this is a first offense. The prosecution, a government entity, then does not have to prove its case against these individuals in court. They pay the steep fine, have their driver's license suspended and possibly spend a limited time in jail or under house arrest. 

However, the prosecuting attorney -- most often known as the district attorney -- has the discretion to make important decisions affecting your case before it ever goes before a judge. The lawyer might convince the prosecution not to file charges or to drop or reduce charges that have already been filed. 

A lawyer may approach the prosecutor's office with information showing a lack of evidence to support the filing of charges. He or she may make a plea bargain offer for reduced charges, or file a motion to have charges dropped. 

When Does a Prosecuting Attorney Decide to Drop or Not File Charges?

If you hire a lawyer immediately after being arrested, he or she may be able to prevent having charges filed if the case against you is weak or if technical errors were made. If you don't hire a lawyer until after the prosecution charges you, your attorney then begins the effort to get the DWI charge dropped. 

Perhaps the arresting officers didn't read you your Miranda rights when taking you into custody and questioning you. That's a technical error. 

Another circumstance could have involved being arrested for driving under the influence of another drug, which might be a prescription sedative or an allergy medication that causes drowsiness. The police officer may have pulled you over for making a careless move, such as rolling through a stop sign, and then arrested you when you appeared intoxicated.

You don't necessarily need to have a blood alcohol level over the legal limit to be arrested for DWI. However, if your lawyer is successful, the prosecuting attorney will drop charges under these circumstances or not file charges in the first place. Instead, you'd just receive your ticket for the stop sign violation. 

What About Reduced Charges?

Depending on your jurisdiction, the prosecuting attorney may be able to reduce the charge to an offense such as reckless driving or one known as "wet reckless." A wet reckless charge is always associated with a plea bargain; it means a case of reckless driving in which alcohol was involved, but it doesn't lead to driver's license suspension. In addition, the other penalties are not as severe.

You're much more likely to be successful with a plea bargain if you have no prior DWI convictions and if your blood alcohol level was below or very close to the legal limit. The situation becomes more difficult if you caused an accident during the DWI incident. 

What Can You Do Now?

Contact a DWI lawyer for a free consultation. Be ready to provide all the details of your situation so the lawyer knows exactly what your strongest points are and the weakest points for the prosecution. Successfully fighting a DWI charge or being able to prevent this charge in the first place can be important for many factors. Some of these factors include avoiding large fines, increased automotive insurance premiums, license suspension and even possible jail time.