Being arrested and charged with driving under influence (DUI) can be an arduous situation for you. Worse still, your reputation could be at stake. Moreover, there is a possibility of the suspension of your driver’s license, hefty penalties and even potential jail time.
A lot of these consequences can be avoided with one person by your side – a skilled and a knowledgeable DUI attorney.
Hiring a DUI attorney is in a defendant’s best interest as not only can the defendant protect his/her legal rights in the criminal justice system, but also avoid potential damage to his/her career and life.
With the help of an attorney, fighting a DUI conviction can get quite simple. It will ensure that you have the best possible defense.
Here are four reasons that clearly state the importance of hiring a DUI attorney.
1. Get an Experienced Opinion
Once you have analyzed your case, you will need an experienced legal opinion about it. Only an experienced DUI lawyer can help you with that. Further, he/she can help you with various issues related to your case in ways such as:
- He/she will possess extensive knowledge of the laws and know how to identify potential weaknesses and strengths of the case, and thereby assist in building a strong defense.
- He/she will know which evidence will be helpful to your case.
- He/she will be familiar with the validity of various field sobriety tests including breathalyzers in court.
- He/she will protect your Constitutional rights.
There are a lot of ways to find an expert DUI attorney. If you or your close ones are pressed with DUI charges, you can ask your friends, colleagues or relatives for a reputable lawyer. Searching online is also a good way to find DUI attorneys. If you are a resident of Chicago, you can search online for drug lawyer Chicago. This will provide you with a lot of relevant results. Once you are done with shortlisting a few lawyers, you can check their reputation through online rating.
2. Help with Plea Bargain
There are certain cases in which the charges pressed against the defendant are very strong and he/she is unable to defend them due to a lack of experience in legal negotiations. In such a scenario, an expert attorney can use his/her negotiation skills and a lesser sentence can be availed for the defendant.
It is likely that the attorney may be able to plead the DUI charges to a lesser one, such as a reckless driving charge. The defendant may also be able to enter into the first-time offender program that allows him/her to avoid a criminal record. Legal DUI experts know all about such programs and can, therefore, help the defendant.
Before you plead guilty, you should learn about the various DUI penalties and fines in your state. Only then can you make an informed decision. By consulting an attorney, you can know whether or not you have the option of pleading bargain in your case.
For instance, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) shows .08, conviction is less of a certainty and a DUI attorney may be able to better plea bargain your case. Another fact to consider is that in most first-offense, non-injury DUI cases, the judgment seldom varies from one case to another.
Pleading guilty is not the only option in DUI cases. All such lesser-known details can be divulged to you by a skilled lawyer, if you are being assisted by one throughout your case.
3. Get a Better Understanding of Laws
The laws related to DUI arrests and convictions are quite complex. Each case is different; therefore they need be approached in a unique way.
A qualified and dedicated DUI attorney can assist you in the following ways:
- Educate you on the laws related to DUI, how serious convictions can be.
- Provide a better understanding of the nature and the severity of the criminal charges and their consequences.
4. Minimize Serious Consequences
DUI charges come with several serious repercussions such as paying fines, potential jail time and even losing the driver’s license for a certain span of time. Unlike earlier, it is now considered as a very serious criminal offense.
Depending on the state, you may be subject to a few or all of the following penalties for a first offense:
- Temporary impounding of your vehicle
- Fine of up to several thousand dollars
- Installation of an ignition lock that prevents your car from starting if you’ve been drinking
- Possible jail time
- Revocation of your driver’s license
- Community service
- Completion of substance abuse classes at your own expense.
If you are involved in an accident or are a repeat offender, these penalties will increase significantly. In order to avoid such consequences, the best solution is to be legally represented by a highly experienced and trustworthy lawyer. By availing a lawyer’s assistance, there are high chances for achieving a lenient sentence.
- By pointing out the positive aspects of the case or the defendant, the attorney may be able to convince the prosecutor to reduce the charge to a lesser offense.
- By being familiar with DUI cases, the procedure, and the tendencies of different judges, the attorney may be able to have the defendant’s case handled by a more lenient judge.
- By helping the defendant prepare for the interview with the probation officer, the attorney may be able to help the defendant avoid unnecessarily burdensome probation conditions.
Moreover, an attorney can also help guiding a defendant through the process of getting his/her driving privileges reinstated.
Facing a DUI charge requires you to maintain your calm and patience. The charge can result in lasting damage to your driving record, give rise to a criminal record, and cast a doubt on your ability to keep up with your job. Why would you want to risk all of this and your freedom? The above reasons make very clear how a DUI attorney can help you in resolving your case in the most reasonable and effective manner. Let the attorney handle your case and fight the DUI charge pressed against you.