In the unfortunate event that you find yourself scheduled to appear in court on DUI charges, you may find yourself asking whether or not a DUI attorney will be able to make any difference in your case. There is a lot of information that you can look up on your own, but the surest way to make sure that you get the lightest sentence possible is to retain the service of a DUI attorney. If this isn’t your first DUI, it is especially important to consult with a DUI attorney.
Entering Your Plea
If there are factors in your case that provide a degree of certainty of conviction (blood alcohol content over .11, or the arresting officer will testify that you were driving erratically) it may be wise to plead guilty. Even if you are certain that you will be found guilty or that you should plead guilty, an experienced DUI attorney can offer advice that may affect the severity of a sentence you would receive. An attorney that has experience with DUI will be familiar with the laws about DUI in your state, and the penalties that the laws carry. If there were factors that may bring into question the results of a test that showed .08 to .11, a DUI attorney may be able to bargain a better plea for your case.
Not only is it possible for a deal to be stricken that offers the plea to be traded for a lower crime: in most states, it is actually possible to bargain the severity of a sentence. Sentence bargaining can be especially useful when a guilty plea may result in a lengthy incarceration. It is highly advised that in any DUI case that is non-routine (cases where the blood alcohol content was over .15 or cases that are related to death or injury), an attorney should be hired.
If this isn’t your first DUI
If you have received a DUI in the past, it is very important that you hire an attorney for subsequent DUI cases. Repeatedly offending DUI laws can become a complex issue that you will want the help of an attorney to navigate. If the cost of hiring a lawyer is a major concern for you, some DUI attorneys may offer discounts, credit payment plans or otherwise work with you to make their services affordable.
Considerations for hiring a DUI attorney
If you need defense in a DUI case, it only makes sense that you seek out an attorney that has experience and expertise in dealing with DUI cases. Find someone that specializes in your state’s laws concerning DUI. Hiring an attorney is definitely an instance in which you will want to do a little bit of comparing or shopping around before settling on the right choice. Once you have limited your search to attorneys that have a specialty in defending DUI cases, you may want to schedule some initial consultations. Initial consultations are often free of charge, and can be a great way to see if a particular person will be the right person to defend you. With the initial consultation complete, find out what the up-front and total costs will be for the attorney’s representation. Make sure to find out if there will be anything else that may arise during the course of court hearings that might increase the costs. Finally, ask if there are any forms of payment options or financing available. You should have all of this information from at least two attorneys before you make the final decision on which to choose for your case.
If you are uncertain
If you are thinking of pleading guilty, but you aren’t yet certain that you should; seek legal advice from either a public defender, or hire an attorney. You will want to at least seek the advice of someone that has legal knowledge in the area before you continue forward in your case. It can be expensive to get advice, but the advice can pay off if it leads to being able to reduce your charge. Remember that no honest defense lawyer or DUI attorney can make guarantees for case outcomes, the price of advice may well be worth it if your counsel tells you that charge reductions are common in a case such as yours.
If there is nothing in your record that will fuel an exuberant prosecution, the risk of paying up front can offer high rewards. For example: if a $1,000 payment leads to a lawyer being able to avoid you having to pay for DUI school, the advice will already pay for itself. Further, if an attorney’s DUI expertise leads to being able to avoid the suspension of your driver’s license, their assistance will undoubtedly be an invaluable service to you.