Drunk Driving – When to Hire a DUI Attorney
If you have been charged with driving under the influence in your state, chances are good you need a DUI attorney. In order to better understand why you may need legal assistance, let’s take a look at what happens when you are arrested and charged with this offense:
When you are arrested for this offense, you will most likely appear in your area’s District Court the next business day. This is called your arraignment hearing.
Having a DUI attorney with you during your arraignment can be very helpful. If for some reason you do not have a lawyer at this time, it is very important that you keep quiet and simply answer the basic question such as name, address, etc. The court will, by law, enter your plea of not guilty. It will then set a court date for what is called a pre-trial conference.
If you have not yet hired an attorney, after your arraignment, now is the time to do so. He or she can help you prepare your defense against these charges, whether you wish to plead guilty or not guilty.
Do I Need to Hire a Specialized DUI attorney?
The answer is yes. Lawyers are very much like doctors in that they often specialize in one area of their profession. A DUI attorney is someone who is experienced and well-qualified to handle these particular types of cases and charges. He or she will know how to best defend you against these charges because he or she will know the state laws and rules as they pertain to this type of charge. This high level of expertise and experience becomes even more critical if you are facing a second or third offense for driving under the influence.
What Can a Qualified Attorney Do For Me?
More than you probably know. To start, a lawyer who specializes in this type of case will sit down with you and get your side of the story. He or she will review the police reports, sobriety tests given, and blood alcohol tests, as well as any mitigating circumstances that may affect your case. From there, he or she can help you develop a defense, should you wish to fight the charges. Or they can help you draft up a guilty plea and present your case to the court for the best possible outcome.
One of the most important benefits to working with an experienced DUI attorney is that he or she can give you an honest assessment of your case. They can offer various possible options and, from there, you can decide what is the best action to pursue for your particular case.
Your lawyer can also set up a meeting with district attorney to see if a deal can be worked out. For many, especially those with multiple convictions, this can result in much less harsh punishments if found guilty on the charges.
Your lawyer may also be able to work out more favorable payment plans for court costs and possible fines. He or she may be able to have the original charges reduced. They may be able to work out a deal in which you are able to keep your driving privileges in order to go to and from work, even if you plead guilty to the charges.
These are just a few of the many issues that a qualified and experienced DUI attorney can do for you should you be charged with driving under the influence. Their expertise and guidance when it comes to police reports, sobriety tests, state laws, and working with the court, can be invaluable for anyone who may be facing a court appearance for this offense. It is money well invested and can result in less severe and less expensive penalties and punishments.