What Is It?
Operating While Intoxicated or Driving under the influence of alcohol, also called OWI or “drunk driving,” is by far the most commonly encountered offense in the courts today.
Yet, it has always been one of the most difficult charges to defend, involving as it does more cryptic areas of science and law than most felonies while affording increasingly fewer constitutional safeguards.
Complex Litigation Aspects
The substantive, evidentiary, and procedural aspects of OWI litigation have grown immeasurably more complex, while at the same time, the stakes for the person facing OWI charges have been raised. The entire OWI scene today has undergone a change in recent years that may accurately be described as revolutionary.
Concurrent with these changes is a marked increase in the severity of sentences rendered in OWI cases. Whereas in the past an offender could expect a fine, probation, and perhaps attendance at a “drunk driving school,” he is now increasingly faced with the loss of his driver’s license and mandatory jail sentences - and, in cases of repeat offenders, with long terms or even felony status.
In comparing the fees quoted by an attorney, you should consider the experience and reputation of that attorney, along with the likelihood that he will be able to expose weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
Will, he re-analyze any blood tests, for example, or subpoena the police maintenance, usage, and calibration records for the breath machine used on you? The attorney’s reputation and the evidence he uncovers will be major factors in how the prosecutor views your case -- and thus in how it is finally resolved.