Getting a DUI charge often seems like the end of the world.
You expect to lose your license, to be fined for thousands of dollars, and if you hurt someone, face serious criminal penalties beyond suspensions and fines.
After all, drinking and driving is the cause of tens of thousands of deaths just in the U.S. every year. People get behind the wheel when they shouldn’t and find themselves facing serious criminal charges for hurting another driver in an accident.
Which begs the question, if this is your first offence and you have a clean record, do you need a DUI attorney to help you? Would a DUI attorney be able to get you out of this situation? If you hurt someone, will having professional counsel really help that much?
In some cases, you just might be able to plead your case in front of a court without a DUI attorney. However, think about it this way: would you operate on your heart by yourself, or ask a doctor to do it? Unless you have extensive legal experience, you won’t know how to plea, how to handle judges, how to fight against license suspension and other charges, how to make your case for not being under the influence, and so on.
You can also ask for a court appointed attorney if a DUI lawyer is beyond your financial means.
If this is your first DUI offence, you might be okay without professional counsel. In most cases, unless you plead not guilty, the ruling is pretty straightforward. Your license is usually temporarily suspended and you get fines. You would have to study on DUI law yourself or ask a lot of questions to people who know the laws; every state handles the case differently except for the blood alcohol level limit of 0.08%.
If this is your second or third DUI, or you hurt someone, or if you want to fight the charge, you cannot do without a DUI attorney. You simply cannot handle a case involving possible jail time and permanent license suspension all by yourself. You might be without the money to pay the attorney, but many are willing to set up payment plans and offer discounts to clients on an as needed basis. You really can’t afford not to have a DUI attorney if you’re facing multiple DUI or aggravated DUI cases.
How Do You Hire a DUI Attorney?
You want a DUI attorney who specializes in all the different laws of the state. If you’re in New York, for example, you wouldn’t hire a New Jersey attorney; you’d want one who has more experience in handling judges and DUI offenses in New York.
You want an attorney who specializes in DUI law. There are many, including the owners of this blog, who can help you specifically with DUI cases where you face possible jail time, license suspension, major fines, and other penalties.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions and shop around. If you can find a DUI attorney who’s willing to work with you on fees and who has the knowledge, consider them one of your best options.