DWI attorneys represent all kinds and all sides of DWI cases. This may surprise you, considering that most people think a DWI attorney only represents the person who has been charged with a DWI. There are actually several sides to a DWI case, as the following examples illustrate. Figuring out which side of which fence you fall in a DWI case can determine what you choose to do next legally and what sub-type of DWI lawyer you hire.

The Person Charged with a First-Time DWI

As a first-time offender, you may choose to hire a lawyer and fight the charge. However, you should only do this if you know with absolute certainty that the following is true:

  • The charge is bogus and you were not drinking/drunk
  • The breathalyzer was malfunctioning
  • The officer was racial profiling (it does happen, despite our modern age)

The only other reason for hiring a lawyer to fight a first-time offense is if you are asking for a lighter sentence and a no-contest plea.

The Person Charged with a Repeat Offense DWI

This is an entirely different "fence" for DWIs. Here, you have a long record of drinking and getting behind the wheel, which will not bode well for you in court. Hiring a lawyer may get you a lighter sentence, but it will not be as light as you think. More severe repeat offenses get jail time, but a lawyer might be able to sway the judge for community service and rehab. 

The Person Charged with Vehicular Injury or Death

Alcohol can kill people several different ways, the most common of which is drunk driving. If you are charged with driving while intoxicated and hitting someone else such that you cause them harm or cause their death, your DWI just crossed over into criminal court territory. You will need a lawyer that handles both crimes.

The Person Who Was Injured by an Intoxicated Driver

If you are the person who was injured by an intoxicated driver, you need a personal injury lawyer who handles DWI victim cases. These areas of law criss-cross often, so it should not be too difficult to find the right attorney. You may also have to appear in criminal court if the DA decides to prosecute the driver for repeat DWI behavior. You may have a lawyer for that as well, although one really is not necessary if you are only asked to testify.

The Surviving Family of a DWI Accident

Lastly, the final "fence side" as it were, is the side where you are a surviving family member of an accident that involved an intoxicated driver and a close relative of yours. If your parent, sibling or child was killed as the result of a DWI driver, you need a lawyer to pursue the driver for compensation. While no amount of money can bring your family member back or force the DWI driver to change his/her ways, it can help you pay your deceased loved one's medical bills and funeral costs.

For more information, talk to a professional like Thomas A Corletta.