A DUI lawyer specializes in defending clients charged with drunk driving, or driving under the influence of different substances (DUI). Driving can be exciting. However, driving while you are drunk is not a good thing and is not that fun anymore, especially when the police is chasing you.
What is the first thing you should do when you drive while you are drunk and you get caught by the police? Firstly, do not panic. If you panic, you will only make it worse and possibly make many mistakes. Secondly, get in touch with the best DUI lawyer you can afford and let him/her do his/her job.
Trusting your case in the hands of a DUI lawyer is a wise decision to make. This way, you can avoid punishments, and save your reputation. As the attorney of the person charged with the crime of drunk driving, a drunk driving lawyer manages all aspects of the case from the beginning until the end.
A good DUI lawyer will consult with his/her client and explain him all the possible scenarios, especially if the client gets convicted. There is a wide range of consequences, from suspending or revoking the driving license, to fees, fines, and even jail-time.
Usually, a capable DUI lawyer will try his best to challenge the arrest, by convincing the Court to lower the charges, or, at least, attempt to reduce the sentence against the defendant. Sometimes, DUI lawyers will dispute whether the police officer who caught his client, was within his constitutional rights to stop the car. The attorney might even question in Court if the sobriety testing was accurate.
Drunk driving is a serious crime in every state. The consequences of this action, like I previously stated, are many, but they vary from state to state, and are influenced by some factors such as age, blood alcohol content, your previous criminal file (if it is the case), and whether you caused injury or death during the driving under alcohol influence.
What Does A DUI Lawyer Do?
Usually, a DUI lawyer thinks of the possible consequences for each client and seeks solutions, in order to minimize the damage to the lives of those clients. Often, the attorney will assess a clients’ situation and determine the chances of that client to be offered a probation or facing minor penalties.
In some cases, the defendant may choose to defend himself, if he considers that the potential penalties are minor. He can even take a quick plea bargain with the prosecutor. Thus, every DUI charge is different, and it makes sense to make sure you will not do jail time. There are higher chances you will escape the situation with only minor charges if you hire or consult a DUI lawyer.
When Do You Know That You Need A DUI Lawyer?
- Go ahead and hire a DUI lawyer. In the case in which you already have several DUI charges and receive another, or if anyone was injured or killed in the accident as a result of your drunk driving, you should definitely hire a DUI lawyer.
- Consider hiring or consulting a DUI lawyer. You should take into consideration the idea of hiring a DUI lawyer if you have been arrested for a second DUI offense or you were found with a blood alcohol content limit over double your state’s legal limit.
- Think about consulting a DUI lawyer. It is a good idea to hire a DUI lawyer if you do not understand your rights or your state’s DUI laws. If you do not know all the requirements of such a conviction you will need the experience and expertise of a DUI lawyer before you handle your case on your own.
Possible Punishments If You Are Drunk Driving
- Jail-time. In all states, first-offense DUI is classified as a misdemeanor, and punishable by up to six months in jail. Some states ask for more severe punishments for DUI offenders whose blood alcohol content at the time of the arrest was very high (0.15-0.20%).
- Fines. In addition to jail time, courts can also impose high fines for drunk driving offenders. There is a wide range when it comes to fines: from 500 dollars to 2,000 dollars.
- Driver’s license problems. If you got caught drunk driving, there is a good chance that you will get your license suspended or even revoked, for a substantial period of time. Many states suspend a first offender’s license for a period of 90 days.
- Other consequences. A number of states also included alcohol treating or prevention programs as a punishment. Moreover, besides legal penalties, the driver’s insurance company may cancel the insurance policy or significantly increase the rates. A drunk driving charge stays on a person’s driving record for many years.
How to Find a DUI Lawyer?
- Seek out attorneys that specialize in defending DUI cases.
- Schedule an initial consultation with a DUI lawyer. In many cases, the first consultation is offered for free.
- Ask the DUI attorney what the total cost will be. Also, ask him if there is anything else that can occur during the court hearing that might increase the price of the representation.
- When possible, meet with two different DUI lawyers before making a final decision.
Pros and Cons for Hiring A DUI Lawyer
- Knowledge and experience. A good DUI lawyer has an inside knowledge of understating the court system. Having an attorney by your side makes the experience less stressful.
- Reduced sentencing. Though the potential consequences of drunk driving can be devastating, having a good lawyer managing your case could reduce your charges, resulting in a lesser sentence.
- The cost. Even though a DUI lawyer is quite expensive, the overall costs even themselves, because a professional can significantly reduce the amount of money an offender has to pay in fines.
- High costs. As you can see, the cost can be seen as both a con and a pro, when it comes to hiring a DUI lawyer. Some lawyers charge by the hour, while others charge a flat fee. While cost can be intimidating, it is in your best interest to work with an attorney to help you get by through difficult times. DUI lawyers can charge between 750 and 1,500 dollars for a plea. Trial rates are even higher: from 2,500 to 25,000 dollars.
- Potentially less courtroom experience. A private DUI lawyer has less on his plate and may have spent less time in court. That is why you should be opened when searching for a potential attorney and ask him/her about his/her experience.
In conclusion, there are many factors to consider when choosing the right DUI lawyer to take care of your case. As you can see, a DUI attorney can be very useful when you face drunk driving charges. Choosing a good DUI lawyer can be tricky. Research your options carefully and seek for the most suited lawyer for your case.