Do You Need a DUI Defense Attorney? Here’s What You Need to Know
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, you may be wondering if you need to hire a criminal defense attorney. While having a DUI defense attorney on your side is always a good idea, here is what you need to know.
The Penalties of Drunk Driving
In most states a first offense will be listed as a class B misdemeanor. This can result in a maximum sentence of up to 6 months, though this can be lowered depending on circumstance. A second offense will usually go up to a class A misdemeanor, which can carry a maximum sentence of 11 months and 29 days.
Do You Need a DUI Defense Attorney?
If you know you are innocent and hadn’t been drinking, but failed a sobriety test, a DUI defense attorney is essential. While rare, this is one case where you absolutely don’t want to try and represent yourself as it will be difficult to navigate without knowing the ins and out of the legal system. You will have a better chance of proving innocence by seeking legal counsel.
That said, if you are guilty, you may be facing penalties regardless of hiring a DUI lawyer. However, depending on your situation a DUI attorney can offer you a slightly better chance of saving your license or getting charges reduced. This will depend on your state and your blood alcohol level at the time of the arrest. Ultimately, because of recently passed per se drunk driving laws, simply having a BAC over the legal limit is enough for a conviction, regardless of other evidence.
If you were arrested with a BAC lower than the legal limit, it will be up to the arresting officer to provide evidence of impairment. This can be contested by a DUI defense attorney and potentially reduce your penalties. However, depending on the evidence, there is no guarantee of this as each case and circumstance is different.
Licence Suspension and Other Charges
Depending on if this is your first or second offense and what state you are in, your license can be immediately suspended once you are arrested. In certain states, your license isn’t suspended until your court date. Furthermore, additional charges can depend on any damages that may have been caused, the number of prior offenses, and endangerment. While an attorney can help with these circumstances, depending on the evidence, these can be difficult to contest.
What a DUI Defense Attorney Can Do for You
While it may seem like a conviction is unavoidable, there are several advantages that an attorney can provide. For instance, they will be able to prepare you for your court date and help you understand what is expected and what you should know. They can also help walk you through any requirements that need to be completed before you go to court.
A DUI attorney can also help you acquire SR-22 insurance and submit any forms to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Additionally, they can help you find and complete any treatment programs that can help you regain your driving privileges.
Ultimately, an attorney can be your best source of information to help you navigate the legal process and put you on the path to regaining your license. Taking care of these things yourself can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to tackle all of the legal aspects yourself. By hiring an attorney you can get everything completed as quickly as possible and start working towards putting this incident behind you.
A Helpful Choice
If you can afford it, hiring a DUI defense attorney is strongly encouraged. The legal process can be complicated if you’re unsure of how to navigate it and a professional will be able to walk you through everything with much less hassle. While depending on the evidence, you may still be facing charges, an attorney can help take some of the stress out of the process and get you a resolution faster and easier.