Driving under the influence (DUI ) is a very serious criminal charge in most states, despite how common it may seem. Depending on a number of factors such as your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC); your criminal record; or whether anyone was injured as a result, you could be facing a significant jail sentence along with very large fines. On top of that, you will probably lose your driving privileges for a certain period of time if not the rest of your life and will need to install an ignition interlock device (IID) after a period of suspension before being able to drive (depending on the DUI laws of your state).
So to answer this question as to whether you should get an attorney for a DUI? My response is a non-equivocal YES with only one caveat which is if you are going to spend the money on a lawyer do your research and hire someone who knows what they are doing. If you are just going to hire any attorney it is probably not worth it. Contrary to some who give the advice that there are some instances such as with a first time DUI, hiring an attorney won’t make much of a difference in the final outcome of your case this is nonsense. Even if your case is a “typical” first time DUI (whatever that means?) there may be factors in your case that necessitate legal assistance. If you’re in doubt about the prospects of your case, an experienced attorney can make all the difference or in the least help you more fully understand the consequences of representing yourself.
A lot of attorneys make their money by taking in a large number of cases and convincing their “clients” to accept a plea agreement. Please make no mistake, if a case is not a slam-dunk for the prosecuting attorney, there is typically an opportunity for a plea bargain. However, even if you desire to do so, a skilled attorney can negotiate a better offer than you could do on your own. Because an experienced DUI attorney understands both how to negotiate with the prosecutor and if they have been doing DUI’s for a period of time may have a relationship with them, they are also able to point out the problems with the case for the prosecutor.
Need Help Navigating the DUI Waters? Contact an Attorney.
It can be difficult deciding whether or not to hire a lawyer if you’ve been charged with a DUI especially when a good one can charge more between $3,500 – $7,500. On one hand, a skilled attorney can make all the difference in the world and may even be able to get the charges reduced or even dismissed. On the other hand, you don’t want to spend all of that money for something you think you can do yourself with a little elbow grease and determination. But, considering the consequences of a DUI conviction, it’s usually a good idea to at least consult with a local DUI attorney. Further, if you think hiring a skilled attorney is expensive pray you never have the misfortune of hiring a bad unskilled attorney.