There's no doubt that drunk driving can come with major consequences. Although the average drunk driver has driven while intoxicated 80 times before they're ever arrested, that doesn't mean this offense should be taken lightly. In fact, failure to understand the gravity of these crimes can end up costing you a hefty fine or even your freedom.
But what if you're facing DUI charges for the very first time? Do you still need a DUI attorney? While every case is different, you may want to consider the following points if you're unsure about whether to work with a law firm or whether you should just go it alone.
Think twice before pleading guilty
In some cases, choosing to plead guilty may be the right course of action. For instance, if your BAC was higher than .11 or there's some other certainty that you'd be convicted. Still, you should take the time to learn about the penalties you might face for doing so. Some people might still benefit from working with a law firm; DUI lawyers may be able to argue your case and make your charges less severe through bargaining. It's important to note that with many first offense DUIs wherein no injuries occurred, judges may hand down a routine sentence that won't vary much from case to case. But your lawyer can be a great source of information and can help you make an informed decision about how you will plead.
Your lawyer will do more than you think
Don't discount an attorney's expertise. DUI cases can be extremely complicated and if you don't have the know-how, you can easily make a bad situation worse. Your lawyer can make sure your rights are protected and potentially negotiate on your behalf, of course, but they will also gather important paperwork and be much more familiar with the local court system. These skills will come in handy during the entire process and will help keep your stress levels low. During a trying time like this, you can't underestimate the importance of your lawyer.
Don't be afraid to explore your options
If you're facing DUI charges, you need a lawyer who is experienced in this area of practice. While you may feel like you're under a time crunch to find representation, that doesn't mean you should rush and hire the first lawyer you talk to. You shouldn't feel afraid to contact several law firms in your area to ask about pricing and schedule consultations to get a feel for how an attorney might approach your case. Many times, these consultations will be free of charge and can help you decide what the best court of action will be. Ideally, you'll probably want to meet with at least a couple of lawyers before deciding whether to proceed with legal representation or to take your chances without.
In many cases, working with a lawyer will ensure your rights are safeguarded and that you'll have someone on your side. To find out more about how our DUI lawyers may be able to help you, contact us today.