If you receive a DUI charge, you might be panicked and worried. Drunk driving charges are serious. You need to make a plan to defend yourself and represent yourself in the best way possible.
As you think through your options, you might consider hiring a lawyer. You might find yourself wondering how a DUI lawyer can help you put you and your case in a positive light. There are many great reasons that an experienced lawyer is worth the investment. If you’re wondering how can a DUI lawyer help, here are some of the ways that a skilled attorney can assist you with your drunk driving case:
A lawyer knows your rights
The question of what does a DUI lawyer do can be answered by starting with an examination of what the police did in your case. If you were pulled over by the police, your attorney can make sure that they did not violate your constitutional rights when they made the traffic stop. The attorney knows your Miranda rights as well as the rights that you have when it comes to taking a chemical test. An attorney can apply their knowledge and experience in a way that protects your rights.
They can help you evaluate field sobriety tests and chemical testing
Another important function that an attorney performs is helping you evaluate law enforcement practices. When the police investigate a drunk driving case, they have certain things that they are supposed to do. Your attorney looks at how the police administered standardized field sobriety tests, if they read you your Miranda rights and how they gave you a chemical test.
You may have taken field sobriety tests at the side of the road. Even these tests need to be given in carefully controlled ways. Some field sobriety tests are standardized. That means that they are tested and approved. Examples of standardized field sobriety tests include the walk and turn and the one leg stand.
Other tests are not standardized. Police still use these tests even though they are not supposed to. If the police in your case gave you field sobriety tests that are not standardized, this can help your attorney poke holes in the state’s case against you.
If the police don’t observe you for a period of time before you take a chemical test, the chemical test can be invalid. The police need to make sure that you don’t eat, smoke or regurgitate for approximately fifteen minutes before you take a chemical test. If the police don’t honor that waiting period, your attorney can ask the court to throw out the chemical test.
A lawyer can help you negotiate a plea deal
One of your questions might be how often do DUI cases get reduced. This is a complicated question, because the state’s attorney likely bases a decision to reduce a DUI on a number of factors. The good news is that plea deals in DUI cases are not uncommon.
As long as you meet the state’s qualifying criteria, there’s no reason that they shouldn’t extend an offer to you to plea to a reduced charge. If you plead guilty to a reduced charge, the state then dismisses the more serious charge. Usually the plea bargain is to another type of impaired driving that carries fewer penalties. In some cases, you can even receive a reduction to a charge of reckless driving instead of DUI.
The state’s attorney looks at a number of things when they decide whether to offer you a plea bargain. They look at your blood alcohol content. If your blood alcohol content is very high, you’re not likely to receive a reduction. If you were barely over the legal limit, you’re more likely to get a deal.
Another thing the state’s attorney considers is whether there was a car accident. If there was a car accident, you’re less likely to get a plea deal. This is especially true if someone sustained an injury. In addition, if you resisted the police, you’re less likely to receive an offer of a plea deal.
They can help you take your case to trial
If you decide to take your drunk driving case to trial, your attorney is critical to a successful defense. Your attorney performs critical legal work for you before your trial even begins. They review a list of potential jurors.
If there are jurors that may not be be fair and impartial, your attorney has the chance to question and dismiss these potential jurors. Whether you win or lose your case can depend on the people who sit on the jury. Your attorney uses their skill and experience to make sure that the jurors who hear your case are going to hold the police to the highest standard of proof.
When your case proceeds to trial, your attorney can defend your DUI charges by helping create a strategy for your case. The police want to paint a narrative that you just broke the law in ways that could hurt others. Your attorney can help show the jury that the police don’t have adequate proof that you broke any law. Your attorney can help tell your story to the jury.
How much do DUI lawyers cost
If you want to hire a DUI lawyer, one of the things that you may be wondering about is the cost. There’s no single answer to that question, but a lawyer’s fee depends on several factors. The cost depends on the seriousness of the offense. If you injured someone or if you have prior convictions, your defense is going to be more time consuming and more costly as a result.
Another factor in determining the fee for representation is whether your matter goes to trial. Preparing thoroughly for trial takes a great deal of time and effort long before you ever set foot in the courtroom. The trial itself is another big day for you and for your lawyer. Your attorney may charge by the hour, or they may charge a flat fee. Your attorney should be happy to review the terms of representation with you in an agreement that’s easy to understand.
When you think about what it costs to hire a DUI lawyer, it’s important to remember that a drunk driving conviction can affect you for years to come. You might not know now how the conviction might affect a future employment opportunity or volunteer commitment. In the short term, your DUI law firm can help you avoid jail time, license sanctions and fines. In the long term, when you work with a DUI lawyer, you don’t have to wonder what might have happened with your case if you had capable representation.
Choosing your lawyer
When you think about how to pick DUI lawyer, there are a number of things to evaluate. Any attorney you hire should have significant experience in criminal courts. They should have previous experience trying DUI cases with juries.
When you meet with your attorney, they should make you feel comfortable. They should respect your wishes. At the same time, they should be honest with you about your case and their recommendations about decisions that you make. Finally, they should offer billing practices that are straight forward.
Putting your best foot forward
A drunk driving charge can be stressful. The right DUI law firm can help you explore all of your options. You might be able to arrange for a plea offer that meets your objectives. Your attorney may be able to successfully defend your case using pretrial motions. You might resolve your case with a jury trial. Whatever works best for you, an attorney gives you the confidence to know that you are making the best possible decisions.