Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a crime in every U.S. state. Depending on the state in which you live, you might be charged with an OUI rather than a DUI.
How is an OUI different than a DUI? By learning what is an OUI, you can act in your own best interests and hire one of the OUI lawyers close to you to help you with your legal case.
What is Operating under the Influence?
OUI stands for Operating Under the Influence. It is used interchangeably in some states with OUI or DWI. Some states even use it simultaneously with OWI or operating while intoxicated.
In terms of how this crime is investigated and prosecuted, few differences exist between it and OUI or DWI. Law enforcement officers who suspect people of this offense can administer the same range of field sobriety, blood, or urine tests to determine their blood-alcohol content or BAC.
How is an OUI different than a DUI or DWI in terms of how the offense is carried out, however? To be charged with this crime, you do not have to be driving a vehicle. You can be tested for and charged with operating under the influence just for being inebriated while sitting in a vehicle that has the keys in the ignition.
If you are charged with this offense, it is in your best interest to speak with one of the OUI lawyers in your local area. OUI lawyers know the laws in your state and can make sure that your rights are protected both in and out of court.
What is an OUI test that law enforcement typically uses to determine one’s level of intoxication? Like testing for OUI, police officers can use any number of methods to find out if you are inebriated. Some of the typical field sobriety tests include:
- walking in a straight line
- touching your finger to your nose
- following a light with your eyes
- reciting the alphabet or counting
A police officer can also ask that you submit to a blood or urine test once you are taken to the police station.
OUI lawyers know these tests and how they are carried out, which is why you are advised to hire one of the OUI lawyers in your city or geographical area and set up an OUI attorney free consultation immediately after you are arraigned or make bail. Hiring a lawyer in for OUI can be your best option if you want to face lower penalties, avoid jail time, or have the charges against you dropped. OUI lawyers are typically well-versed in the tactics used to help clients resume their normal lives the least amount of punishments.
Penalties and Punishments
As your OUI defense attorney may tell you, you could face any number of penalties or punishments for this offense. Some of the most common sentences handed down by judges for this crime are:
- monetary or civil fines
- community service
- suspension of your driver’s license
- jail or prison sentences
The type of punishment you face will depend on whether or not you are first-time or repeat offender. Your OUI defense attorney can advise you on what penalties you might face during your OUI attorney free consultation.
The best OUI lawyer may also be able to help you keep your job and go back to your normal life with the least repercussions possible. Having a lawyer in for OUI can be vital if you want to minimize the damage that this offense has on your professional reputation, for example. The best OUI lawyer might be able to have your court records sealed or address the public in a way that keeps your reputation intact.
However, if you worry that you cannot pay the fees for OUI lawyers or find OUI lawyers in your area that will offer you affordable payment options, you might wonder where you can find OUI inexpensive lawyers who can still defend you in court. You may have one of the local OUI inexpensive lawyers appointed to by the court if you lack the money to hire one of the private practice OUI lawyers. Having OUI lawyers made available is one of the rights that defendants are guaranteed by the Constitution if they cannot afford to hire an attorney of their own.
Selecting and Hiring OUI Lawyers
How can you choose from among the OUI lawyers within your city or state and how do you know that the OUI lawyers close to your area are qualified to represent you? As you consider all of the OUI lawyers available to you, you should make up a list of questions to ask the OUI lawyers that you plan to meet with before you go to court.
Some of the questions that are appropriate to ask OUI lawyers during your initial constitution include:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- What portion of your practice is devoted to OUI defense law?
- Will you be directly involved in my defense?
- How much can I rely on you to communicate with me directly if I call or email you?
- How much do you charge for your retainer and other fees?
OUI lawyers who are qualified and ready to take on new clients will answer any and all of these questions with ease. You can determine which of the OUI lawyers you meet with to hire based on their responses.
Advantages of Retaining OUI Lawyers
So why exactly should you vet the OUI lawyers who practice in your city or state? As mentioned, OUI lawyers are typically well-versed in your state’s OUI laws. They know what law enforcement officers look for and what methods they use to test motorists and passengers alike for this offense.
OUI lawyers also know what kinds of punishments are typically handed down in court and how those penalties can negatively impact a person’s life. Using this information, OUI lawyers can build a defense that you can take before the prosecutor or judge to negotiate the least amount of punishment possible.
If you are a first-time offender, you need to hire one of the OUI lawyers available to you so that you can receive a sentence that matches your level of relative innocence. Even if you did operate under the influence, you may not deserve a lengthy jail sentence or a substantial fine. OUI lawyers can usually help first-time offenders avoid jail time and instead get sentences like community service or small monetary fines.
Alternatively, if you are a repeat offender, you need one of the available OUI lawyers to assist you in staying out of jail. Without the help of OUI lawyers, repeat offenders can serve out months or years in jail and also pay heavy monetary fines. By retaining one of the OUI lawyers close to your city or geographical area, you might avoid the harshest penalties and be given a chance to change your behavior in the future.
Many states investigate and prosecute operating under the influence the same if not harsher than DUI or DWI. Even if you were not driving the vehicle, you could still be charged with this crime if you were drunk or high when you were arrested.
You can build a defense to go to court with and possibly escape the worst punishments by hiring one of the OUI lawyers who practice in your city and state. You can find the best defense attorney by knowing what qualifications what qualifications to search for and what kinds of questions to ask when you first meet with a lawyer who can take your case.