The Role of a DWI Attorney in Defending Social Drinkers


A DUI (driving under the influence) conviction can affect your job, social life, and family. A skilled DWI attorney can fight to have your charges dropped or minimized in court. A good defense requires a detailed analysis of all available evidence in your case. This means assessing the case, collecting and gathering the correct information, negotiating with the prosecutor, and trial preparation.

Assessing the Case

All too often, people who enjoy drinking alcohol with their friends at a bar or an office party face DUI charges. This is a situation that can have serious, life-changing repercussions. Fighting a DWI charge independently can be challenging, especially if you’ve never done so. That’s why working with a reputable attorney from Michael & Associates with the experience and training to defend your case effectively is essential. Several defenses to a DWI charge require specialized knowledge and expertise in the law. These include presenting alternative theories for why a police officer may have observed common symptoms of intoxication where no intoxication occurred, scrutinizing the field sobriety tests performed upon arrest, and probing into officer observations to see if the officer violated your rights during the stop or arrest process. The consequences of a DWI conviction can have an impact on your career, your education, your social life, and your overall quality of life. That’s why working with an experienced DWI attorney who can build an effective defense for you is crucial.

Collecting Information

A DWI charge is much more severe than a simple traffic ticket. It can result in fines, jail time, and losing your driving privileges. There are several ways to defend against a DWI charge. However, only an experienced DWI attorney can strategize effectively. One strategy for protecting against a DWI is to challenge the facts of the case and how they are presented. This includes analyzing the field tests performed by police officers upon arrest and probing into the equipment and maintenance of the breathalyzer system. Another defense is to request a hearing on your driver’s license suspension. This is known as an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing.

Negotiating with the Prosecutor

One of the essential roles of a DWI attorney is to negotiate with the prosecutor. The most common form of negotiation involves an agreement to plead guilty (for the stated charge rather than a reduced charge) in return for a lighter sentence. This saves the prosecution the time and expense of going through a trial. This is the least common type of negotiation. It consists of admitting specific facts (“stipulating” the existence of provable facts) in return for an agreement not to introduce them into evidence. When considering a plea bargain, it is essential to recognize that each plea deal is different. Therefore, it is crucial to understand your interests and priorities before entering a negotiation. This will allow you to make informed decisions and maximize your chances for a positive outcome in your case.

Trial Preparation

After all the pretrial negotiations, motions, hearings, and more, the trial is coming. Your trial is your first chance to defend yourself in the face of a potential DWI conviction. In the trial, you and your attorney will confront the State’s evidence, challenge your breath and blood test results, and confront witnesses. Your attorney will also use this time to review your case and ensure you are fully prepared for what is ahead. Some things that your lawyer might recommend for pretrial preparation include AA meetings, having an alcohol assessment completed, and other similar activities. These are not mandatory and will only be recommended if appropriate for the case and will help develop your case for the jury.