Are you here because you are wondering if you need an attorney for a DUI case? Statistically speaking, there have been plenty of DUI cases where people have chosen self-representation. However, the instances of winning a case like that are very few. Drunken driving or driving under the influence is a serious charge, and you need to do your best in defending yourself. Most of the times, knowing driving laws of the state is not enough. It is a criminal case, and you need the best criminal defense lawyer you can get for your money. You must remember that it will be a permanent record and you will have to face the consequences of the court trial all your life.
There are five simple things you need to consider before turning away from the opportunity to hire an experienced DUI attorney–
Should you at all plead guilty?
There have been several cases when the blood alcohol content of 0.08% has not been enough evidence to prove an accused guilty. Up until you plead guilty, you have allegedly committed a DUI. Before pleading guilty in front of the court, you need to know about the fines, DUI penalties, and sentences in your state. Making an informed decision is imperative for your future and the future of your family. So, even if you are sure that you should plead guilty since there is no way for you to go scot-free, you should speak with a criminal defense lawyer, who specializes in DUIs. Never forget that a BAC between 0.08 and 0.10 is not enough to send you behind bars or revoke your driving license. You need the right counsel to help convey your side of the story to the judge.
Bargaining can be of two types – which one do you want to go for?
Some states do not prohibit bargaining DUIs down to reckless driving. If your attorney can make that happen, it will be a miracle for your life and career since it is downsizing a criminal case to a traffic case. With self-representation, noting the finer details that can turn a DUI into reckless driving is impossible. You need an expert, who has a good relationship with the local prosecutors. Only a law professional can get you the best end of the bargain and the post-conviction terms.
In the events where pleading guilty is the only way to go about the case, sentence bargaining is very useful. Negotiating better sentence terms can make a significant impact on the outcome of the trial. It is understandable if you do not want to plead guilty to a second DUI or an aggravated DUI unless you know the details of the sentence. In such complicated cases, it is always better to discuss with an attorney before making any deals.
Is this your second, third or fourth DUI?
The way you handle your first DUI will reflect upon your subsequent DUI charges. In most states, second, third and fourth DUIs involve jail time. Therefore, you need to be very careful irrespective of how many times you have been on the wrong side of the bars. The bail bonds and penalties are costlier for second, third and fourth penalties than they are for the first one. However, if you have the right guidance, the chances of decreasing your jail time and lowering the penalties improve. The ability of a trained lawyer and his or her team to navigate complex documentation and administration procedure will accelerate the positive outcome of a case. The main difference between self-representation and hiring a DUI attorney in these cases is the significantly low costs in case of the latter.
Have you considered the increasing cost of insurance?
Without the assistance of an attorney, you can expect the cost oDUI,e to rise significantly after a DUI. In reality, the monthly or yearly premiums you are paying now can even quadruple. Most importantly, driving without automobile insurance is illegal in most states. You could get into trouble traveling to and from work every day. Each day you will leave home with anxiety and reach home exhausted from it. A legal attorney can reduce the charges and make a better deal with the insurance company. He can broker an agreement that does not involve skyrocketing insurance bills, and you will get to keep your current insurance policy.
Have you checked the local DUI attorneys?
People often bear a negative impression about the attorneys, but highly specialized attorneys can be extremely helpful when all hope seems lost. Most reputed and reliable criminal attorneys do not have prohibitive rates. Some of them do work on retainers, but you can also consult a legal expert, who charges per hour. Your concern about the fees should not be your priority right now. Without professional aid, you will be in trouble soup. You may end up paying significantly more than you would spend on hiring an excellent lawyer.
Additionally, you cannot measure all costs in terms of money. The lack of proper legal support can cost you your reputation, job, savings, social standing and family life. Therefore, hiring a DUI attorney is a smart choice irrespective of how guilty you look right now.
The gist of it all
There are times when you are facing the court when you will feel despair. It will seem inevitable that there is no other way but jail time for you. However, an experienced and smart lawyer can change that. Although DUI is a criminal charge, he or she can make it possible for you to plead guilty to a traffic violation. When it comes to DUI attorneys, anything is possible!
Do not settle for cheaper attorneys because they are readily available. The court will assign you a public defender in case you cannot afford a lawyer. Seize that opportunity if there is nothing else you can do. Having a public defender will increase your chances of negotiating a better deal than you would on your own.