A criminal defense lawyer in Burlington, VT may handle cases where a person was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The lawyer begins by evaluating the evidence against the client and then determines the best strategies for defense. Sometimes, a conviction is almost inevitable, and the attorney then works to minimize the penalties levied by a judge.
DUI as a Criminal Charge
Although DUI is a traffic-related incident, the state of Vermont considers it a criminal charge. The behavior is seen as serious because so many accidents are caused by drunk drivers. Percentage-wise, collisions caused by drivers with high blood alcohol content tend to be more severe, often resulting in injuries and even fatalities to other individuals. An impaired driver who causes an accident faces additional charges beyond the basic DUI offense.
A first DUI offense typically has relatively low penalties, although judges can issue much harsher sentences if they so choose. But, if the driver causes property damage and injuries, the person may be sentenced to jail time. A lawyer in Burlington, VT works to persuade the judge to issue the minimum sentence allowed by law. This attorney builds the strongest possible case to defend the client in court.
Alcohol Rehab Instead of Jail
A lawyer may be able to persuade a judge to accept participation in an alcohol rehab program as an alternative to a jail sentence. Being admitted to rehab before the court date is advisable, as it indicates sincerity that the defendant is serious about addressing the problem. The main goal behind a jail sentence and monetary penalties is to convince the individual to never drink and drive again. Alcohol rehab programs may be even more effective.
Privileges at Risk
Maintaining freedom is usually the main priority for the defendant. Being able to continue driving is another. Both of these privileges are at risk after someone causes an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol. Anyone dealing with this risk may contact Jason J. Sawyer, Attorney & Counselor at Law for a consultation and a vigorous defense.