Do I Need a DUI Attorney?
Santa Rosa DUI Lawyer Blog. Do I need a DUI Attorney? If you get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, one of your first questions will likely be whether you should hire an attorney to help with your case. While the law allows every person the right to represent themselves in court and handle their own case, there are some important reasons why this may not be a wise decision.
Do I Need a DUI Attorney?
DUI Can Be a Serious Charge
Many people associate DUI charges with other traffic-related citations. For this reason, they may believe that a DUI is a relatively minor matter, for which an attorney is not necessary. This belief is mistaken, however, as a DUI conviction may have serious consequences, including hefty fines and possible jail time. Additionally, if you plead guilty to a DUI, your license will be suspended and a conviction will go on your permanent record. This can raise your insurance rates, disqualify you from certain jobs, and increase a sentence if you ever face DUI charges again in the future. An attorney can advise you of other options besides pleading guilty to help you avoid these consequences.
You Want to Fight your Charge
There are many defenses that an attorney may present to fight your DUI charges. For example, results of chemical tests such as blood draws or Breathalyzers are not always accurate. Breathalyzers in particular have a significant margin of error. Your attorney can investigate and challenge the results of your chemical tests to bring important evidence into question. Other defenses can include challenging the circumstances of your arrest, impeaching the arresting officer’s testimony at trial, offering valid explanations for why you may have appeared to be intoxicated, and many more. A DUI attorney will be able to identify which defenses apply in your particular case and use them to fight your charge.
Plea Bargaining a DUI
Even if you do decide to plead guilty, a DUI attorney can still be extraordinarily helpful in your case. A defense lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor to get you a better deal. A lawyer will work to convince the prosecutor to amend your charge down to a “wet reckless” or other lesser charge. A lesser charge will mean less severe penalties for you.
You Have Prior DUI Convictions
If you have any prior DUI convictions on your record, it is imperative that you have an attorney handling your case. California has mandatory minimum penalties for multiple DUI convictions within a certain period of time, and the penalties increase significantly with each subsequent DUI. You do not want represent yourself and risk spending time in jail, having an extended driver’s license suspension, having an ignition interlock device installed in your car, or other serious consequences.
If you are facing DUI charges and decide to hire a lawyer, you always want to find one who knows how to handle this specific type of case. The DUI attorneys at Beck Law P.C. have extensive experience in DUI defense. If you are in Santa Rosa, Petaluma or anywhere in Sonoma County, Mendocino County or Lake County California, call our office for help today.