Experiencing even a single DUI arrest can be a life changing event that turns things on their head. Depending upon the severity of the charge and the situation, you may need to hire a DUI/DWI lawyer to help handle the situation. Hiring an experienced attorney has nothing but benefits, including their familiarity with the court system, an advanced knowledge of plea bargains, and the profound ability to navigate through the administration procedures of the legal system. It is important to hire a professional DUI lawyer if you are considered a repeat offender, if there was a minor in the vehicle with you, or your blood alcohol content level was twice the state limit. However, if this is your first DUI offense and there were no injuries or additional circumstances of aggravated or reckless driving, then you may not need to hire an attorney in this case.
If this actually is your first DUI arrest, then chances are high that you should simply plead guilty to the charges and take the punishment. It is the wisest choice if you are certain of being convicted, if the arresting officer decides to testify against you, claiming you were driving erratically, or perhaps if your blood alcohol content level was twice the normal amount. Chances are the judge will not look kindly on your situation.
That being said, you may still hire a DUI lawyer to handle the situation. Even if you feel you should plead guilty, an attorney can advise you on the entire situation and offer some insight as to how to proceed forward through the case.
You should also consider whether or not someone was injured as a direct result of your driving. If an innocent passerby was struck or you collided with another car, then chances are quite high the judge will not be lenient to your situation. In such a case, pleading guilty may be the only option.
Along with plea bargaining, the majority of states in the country have what is known as sentencing bargaining. Basically, an attorney can argue on your behalf for a reduced sentence or jail time in a more lenient prison. Generally, a guilty plea will result in a long period of prison incarceration, which is where an attorney may become useful.
Take, for example, a second DUI arrest. The offender is more likely to offer a guilty plea if they knew their sentencing would not be years of incarceration. In this case, you will want an attorney to advise you on your situation to avoid a large sentence.
Things to Consider
If you do decide to hire an attorney, the first step is to research lawyers in your immediate area who special in DUI/DWI laws in your state. An attorney that defends such cases will know the court system and how to represent you and your needs effectively. Shop around and compare prices for attorneys.
- Seek a specialized DUI/DWI attorney to defend your case
- Schedule a consultation with said attorney, which is often free of charge and helps decide if said lawyer is the right fit for your case.
- Ask the attorney about their total cost for representing you and your case in court. Ask if anything that occurs during court may increase the cost of his services.
- Try to meet with at least two attorneys before making any kind of decision.
In the end, hiring a specialized DUI attorney is entirely up to you and your situation. Some may feel they do not need to spend the money, while others may seek the help instantaneously.