After being arrested for drinking and driving, you may be attempting to handle the matter on your own without any professional legal advice. Before you proceed to arraignment, it’s important to understand that being convicted of drunk driving carries serious consequences in every state, and the laws don’t necessitate that you be intoxicated or drunk to be found guilty. Whether you’ve just been arrested for the first time on driving while intoxicated charges or you’re facing repeat charges, these four reasons are worth consideration and will help explain how a qualified DUI attorney can navigate the court system and ensure that your case is handled properly.
1. Professional Assessment of Your Case
Since every case involves unique circumstances that are subject to different laws depending on the state you live in, the potential consequences of drinking and driving can vary greatly. An experienced DUI attorney will become an authority on your specific case and will help you understand the possible fines and/or jail time that you could be facing if your case proceeds to trial. Many lawyers in this area work exclusively on DUI matters and are experts in the process, including educating you on the sometimes hidden options that you may not be aware of. Your legal counsel will be able to tell you how the specific consequences in your state could affect you, and how you could be eligible for special programs such as community service in lieu of harsher penalties. In addition, hiring an advocate means you will have someone on your side that understands the motor vehicle licensing department’s power to revoke or suspend your license.
2. Help With Making the Process Manageable
Dealing with this type of offense can be time-consuming and complicated. A qualified lawyer can help make the process more manageable by completing all of the paperwork, handling phone calls, representing you at the suspension hearing for your license, and making other arrangements that can easily be mishandled by someone unaccustomed to the administrative side of the law. Additionally, an experienced DUI attorney will be familiar with the prosecutors and local authorities in your area, and will already know how to make the best arguments on your behalf.
3. Plea Advice
If this is your first offense, it can sometimes be wise to plead guilty depending on the facts of your case. But before making that decision, a DUI attorney can advise you on the fines and penalties in your state to ensure that you make the most informed decision. Your legal counsel can also provide advice on how to get one or more of your charges reduced by plea-bargaining before you decide whether or not to plead guilty.
4. Assistance With Sentence Bargaining
Besides plea-bargaining, it may also be possible to utilize sentence bargaining where you decide to plead guilty in exchange for a lesser sentence. In this situation, you would need a DUI attorney to help you figure out exactly what sentence you would get if you agreed to plead guilty to one charge but not to a second charge.
If you are feeling uncertain, choosing a high-quality lawyer could make a life-changing difference in the severity of the consequences you may be facing.