Although each DWI case is unique, one of the first things we do with every client is go over the range of punishments and other implications of a conviction or guilty plea. Unless you are found not guilty, or we uncover problems with the proof presented against you, you are going to have to pay a fine and will have your license suspended for a short period of time (typically from 90 days to 6 months). You may also have to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle that prevents you from driving drunk by forcing you to pass a breathalyzer each time you want to turn the key. In more serious cases, or if this is not your first conviction, you will face jail time. Outside the legal world, you will see a significant and long-lasting increase in your insurance rates since insurance companies now see you as a greater risk.
Fighting the charges is challenging, but not impossible. The prosecutors must prove that you are guilty of whatever crime they have charged you with beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a tough standard to meet, and we try to make it even tougher for them by rebutting the evidence the state presents with our own evidence. The accuracy of field sobriety tests and breathalyzers, the most commonly cited evidence, can easily be called into question. We can also show how serious our client is taking the incident by providing evidence of any driving classes or alcohol counseling programs he or she is participating in.