Criminal Law

DUI vs DWI – A Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Helps With Both

DUIs and DWIs are a serious matter; if you’re arrested for either it can change your life. Mistakes happen but your life shouldn’t have to change because of it. DUIs and DWIs are very similar in nature but are not the same thing. The differences between the two are subtle but important, especially when it comes to defending someone in court. Here are the differences between DUIs and DWIs and how a Utah criminal defense attorney can help with either:

The difference between a DUI and a DWI changes depending on the laws of a given state. Both refer to crime of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Depending on the state, a DWI and a DUI are the same charge and are classified as such. These are usually states that have a zero tolerance policy towards drinking, so they make no distinction between blood alcohol content levels.

In other states, they use the blood alcohol content to determine the difference between a DWI and a DUI. Typically these states will classify a DUI as a lesser charge, signifying that they were less impaired. DWIs denote a higher blood alcohol content and/or higher degree of impairment at the time of arrest. In a state that classifies these charges separately, you can have the charges reduced to a DUI but only if it’s a first offense.

Other states use the terms DWI and DUI to signify the difference in nature of impairment. In these states, the term DUI typically refers to the driving being under the influence of drugs. Whereas, the DWI denotes that the defendant was driving while drunk.

How a Salt Lake City Attorney Can Help

Criminal defense attorneys are an invaluable tool in fighting either a DUI or DWI. Everyone makes mistakes and they shouldn’t have to lose everything because of their mistakes. A criminal defense attorney can help you lessen the impact that a DUI or DWI charge will make on your life.

An attorney is an advocate who works on your behalf to ensure that the outcome is as favorable to you as possible. Nobody should have to go through this process alone and it’s important to have someone who works for you when you can’t.

Criminal defense attorneys go through years of education and training in order to best defend people in the court of law. This experience is vital in properly defending people in a court of law. Without the proper training, a person representing themselves in court stands little to no chance of a favorable outcome in a DUI or DWI case. It is important to have the proper representation in court, in order to ensure that your mistake doesn’t cost you any more than it has to.

We do not condone drunk driving. However, we do understand that mistakes are made and people should not have to lose everything they’ve worked so hard for. DUIs and DWIs can affect your whole life, including costing you your job, financial situation, and personal life. By hiring a Utah criminal defense attorney, you can help lessen the impact this has on your life.

Stacey G. Schmidt is a Salt Lake City defense attorney and she can help you tell the difference between a DUI vs. DWI and can give you the best representation for you case. For more information please visit