We will get the question “Do I really need an attorney” a great deal. A DUI is a serious offense that can result in large fines, long jail sentences and possibly the loss of your driver’s license. The laws relative to these cases are complex, involving traffic laws, DMV processes and testing of blood alcohol levels. If you have been arrested for a DUI, you need the specialized knowledge of an attorney to advise you on the case. They can help you understand the legal process and protect your rights. An attorney will conduct interviews and gather evidence to support your defense. Someevidence needs to be collected right away to prevent losing access to it; therefore, it is important to contact an attorney right away.
Each DUI case is different and laws may vary by state or even by county. As a result, the consequences of a DUI conviction are dependent upon a number of factors. For example, some states have specific laws for handling DUI cases for underage drivers. Other factors that may play a role in the outcome include whether or not there are prior convictions or if the DUI resulted in an accident, injury or death. An attorney is familiar with the court system and can assess your situation to determine the probableoutcome. Based on those criteria, they can advise you of your options.
Entering a Plea
In many cases, first time, non-injury DUI cases receive a standard sentence. Consequently, the consensus is that you don’t need an attorney for a first offense. However, before you enter a guilty plea, you should consult an attorney to gain a thorough understanding of the laws, fines and other penalties in your state. Even if you are certain that you should plead guilty, an experienced attorney might see alternatives that you may have overlooked. Additionally, the attorney may be able to offer advice that could minimize the severity of your penalties.
Getting Your DUI Dismissed
An attorney may be able to get your DUI dismissed under certain circumstances. It is illegal for police officers to stop you without probable cause. If you were stopped illegally, an attorney can help get your case dismissed. A more common reason for having a DUI dismissed is if the test was refused. You have a right to refuse a breath or chemical test but you may lose your license for a minimum of one year. However, the case may be dismissed if you can establish any of the following:
- Illegal stop
- Insufficient grounds for requesting an alcohol test
- You had a valid reason for refusing
- Insufficient cause to question sobriety
The attorney may also question the accuracy of the tests. Certain medications, medical conditions and improper operation of equipment may result in erroneous results. This is cause to have the DUI dismissed.
In some instances, an attorney can assist you in plea bargaining for a lesser charge. They can also inform you of the repercussions of accepting a plea bargain. If you are found guilty, they may be able to bargain to get your sentence reduced. It’s critical to have an attorney who can negotiate the best possible outcome.
The content on this site is offered only as a public service to the web community and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. This site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter. The comments and opinions expressed on this site are of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.