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If you’re charged with driving under the influence, the impacts could be severe depending on your criminal background and the nature of the incident. Since it’s a crime to drive a vehicle while you’re under the influence of alcohol or another type of drug, the charges are handled in a court of law, which means that you or your attorney will present your case to a judge. Even though you have the option to represent yourself, it’s sometimes in your best interest to hire a DUI lawyer.
If you’ve never been in a courtroom, then you likely won’t know some of the terms that are used or how to talk about your case. You might not know of the defenses that can be used or the details that you can offer to have your charges reduced or dismissed. These are important factors to keep in mind as you want to hire someone who will be able to approach the prosecution and the judge so that you stand a better chance of staying out of jail.
When you meet with a DUI lawyer, you’ll usually have a free consultation. The lawyer will look at the report that was given to you by the police as well as your background. If you haven’t been in trouble with the law in the past, then there’s a good chance that your attorney can present an open and shut case so that your charges are likely dismissed. However, if you’ve received DUI charges in the past or if there are other charges on your record, then it can be a bit more difficult to have the charges dismissed. However, a good attorney can often make an agreement with the court so that you spend little to no time in jail.
Make a list of any concerns or questions that you have for the attorney so that you can make the most of the time that you have in the office. There’s no pressure to hire the first attorney you talk to, but you should avoid spending a lot of time trying to find an attorney as you want to work together as much as possible to develop a case so that you are at ease with the outcomes that are possible.
When you go to court, expect that the prosecution will offer a plea. This plea will usually be surrounded by the details of your criminal history. Your attorney will be able to make a decision as to whether the plea is worth accepting or if you should fight against the prosecution to try to get a different sentence. If there are no aggravating factors, there are no injuries or damage to personal property, and there are no past criminal charges, then the case can sometimes be handled quickly and without much legal assistance. A standard offer by the prosecution if there are no other factors involved with the DUI charge is usually the same whether you have an attorney or not. If you know that there are no issues, then you might want to consider saving your money and accepting the initial plea.
The attorney you hire should be one who understands DUI laws and who is ready to fight for you instead of someone who will rush through the case. An experienced attorney can sometimes work with the prosecution to come up with a better plea deal than what was originally offered, such as going to classes in exchange for staying out of jail. Keep in mind that many judges will usually try to get cases out of the courtroom a bit faster if you don’t have an attorney and sometimes won’t listen to everything that you have to say.
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