Driving under the influence or DUI is a serious charge that can have dire consequences. Depending on circumstances such as your blood-alcohol concentration or whether anybody was injured or killed due to your actions, you could face serious jail time and hefty fines, not to mention the almost certain loss of your driving privileges for a period of time.
As with most other criminal charges, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney if you are charged with a DUI. You will need someone who knows about the DUI laws in your state and who can at the very least provide you with legal advice. Depending on your situation, you may also need to hire a DUI attorney to represent you in court. With that being said, here are some tips that will help you determine what you will need from your attorney.
When You Do Not Need a DUI Attorney
Even though you should never hesitate to ask an attorney for legal advice if you’re facing a DUI charge, you might not require their representation in court if it is your first offense and there were no injuries. If it is on record that your blood-alcohol concentration was fairly high (such as anything above a 0.08) and there is evidence that shows that you were impaired, there isn’t much you can do to avoid a DUI conviction. You are usually better off facing the standard penalties for a first-time offender rather than spend time and money defending yourself in court.
When You Should Hire a DUI Attorney
On the other hand, there are some situations where you should definitely hire a DUI attorney to represent you in court. If it turns out that the case against you isn’t as airtight as it first seemed, you might be able to arrange for a plea bargain and accept a plea for a lesser charge. You can also negotiate for a lesser sentence if you are willing to have a DUI on your record. In any case, you will need a DUI attorney to help negotiate the charge. Your attorney will have experience with such scenarios, so while there is no guarantee that you will succeed in reducing your sentence or be convicted of a lesser charge, you will stand a much better chance if you have someone on your side.
Even though there are situations where it seems easier to not hire an attorney for an expensive court battle, you should never hesitate in speaking to a DUI attorney if you feel like you need one. An experienced attorney will be able to provide you with all the counsel you need to face the charges against you, and they might even be able to arrange for a lesser sentence. With as serious as a DUI charge can be, you will need all the help you can get.
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