If you have received a misdemeanor charge for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI), it is important to understand what this charge means and how it could impact your future.
Because a misdemeanor OWI can negatively affect you, it is worth fighting back against this charge in court. The first thing you should do is contact an attorney who is experienced in OWI offenses.
There are important distinguishing factors between a misdemeanor OWI and a felony. Perhaps the most important is the consequences associated with a felony conviction versus a misdemeanor. If convicted of a felony, you could serve a considerable amount of time in prison, whereas with a misdemeanor, you are likely to serve a maximum of one year in jail.
Although the consequences for a misdemeanor are not as severe as a felony, they are still undesirable. You could face:
You may be required to attend all court proceedings, so it is important to have an overview of how they go. The first appearance in court is usually short to address bond issues and serve the criminal complaint.
After that, the case will proceed as normal for a misdemeanor case in that county. Each county can have its own practices, which vary slightly from county to county. However, most will have a pretrial conference, which is an opportunity to negotiate with the prosecutor.
Then there will be another court appearance where the parties report to the judge the status of the case and what should be scheduled next. If the defense brings motions, which need to be scheduled for a hearing, then a motion hearing would be scheduled. If the case is not yet resolved, then a jury trial would be scheduled.
At Tracey Wood & Associates, we understand that the legal process is confusing for many, but our goal is to make sure you feel confident and comfortable moving forward with your case. We will guide you every step of the way to ensure that you end up walking away with the best outcome possible. To learn more about your options and to schedule a free consultation, contact us today.