7 reasons why you need a DUI attorney
Driving under the influence can have far reaching outcomes. The law is justifiably strict about DUI not just because of the danger to you but because of the potential of disastrous consequences for everyone in the vicinity. Remember that possible loss of life cannot be taken frivolously.
An offender’s punishment depends on the level of inebriation and the severity of damage caused if any. The law also keeps record of the number of times that the offender has flouted the rules and this has a direct affect on the sentence.
Hiring an attorney can help give you better outcomes,though in some cases nothing can be done to change the sentence.
There are many factors when you want to decide if hiring a DUI attorney will help your case. Here are some things to remember about DUI cases:
- A first time offender will get a standard sentence and administrative penalties and is very difficult to negotiate a lighter sentence for.There might still be extenuating circumstances that may require the skills and contacts of a lawyer.
- Typically, your license will be suspended if your BAC is above 0.08.
- The court prefers to avoid the expenses related to holding a trial. They may lighten a sentence if an offender pleads guilty to reckless driving which carries a lesser punishment than DUI.
- Some states have something called wet reckless which acknowledge the influenced driving but carry a lesser punishment and no jail time.
- This isn’t a pass though. If the offence is repeated, wet recklessness will still be recorded as a previous offence. Second and third offences can land you in jail for a few months or even a few years.
- Most attorneys will offer a free initial consultation to help you decide if you do indeed need an attorney.
- Sometimes, if the case is weak the prosecution might try to instigate a guilty plea when a plea bargain may have been a better option for the defendant.
Though a majority of people who hire private lawyers are convicted, the relative percentage of those convicted, is still lower compared to the ones who represent themselves or use public defenders.
Once you decide to hire one, come prepared to the meeting.
- Carry all the court documentation you have; like bail papers, police report or search inventory report.
- Hiring the right lawyer who is genuinely interested in your case is very important. So make sure you have a list of questions to help you decide. You can begin with asking about law schooling and graduation. Find out if they belong to any professional organizational or bar associations. Factors such as years of total experience and experience in handling DUI cases are crucial. Also ask about percentage of DUI cases handled from the caseload. Ensure that they have connections with the prosecutor as that can tip the scales in your favor. If negotiating plea bargains is the way you want to go, ask if it is standard practice for your attorney to do so.
- Once you have chosen a lawyer, ask relevant questions to determine the way forward. Get a recommendation on whether a plea agreement is possible or if a trial is the way to go. Find out which factors are in your favour and which are against. Get an overview of what you can expect in terms of process like arraignment, filing of motions, motions hearing, disposition and trial.
Consider all the points carefully to give yourself the best chance for a lighter sentence.