Many drivers who are arrested for DUIs have no idea what to expect in the coming months. After being officially detained and charged, a driver might feel as if their entire life is about to fall apart. While these events can be traumatic, it is important to remember that there is help out there. With a DUI lawyer by your side, you are going to be in the best possible position to reduce the charges or keep the DUI completely off of your record. Without an experienced attorney, you might end up facing thousands of dollars in fines, a suspended license, and countless other penalties.
The True Cost of a DUI Charge
A driver might never even consider seeking out professional legal help because they don’t realize just how expensive these charges can be. While every state has its own rules and regulations, most have very strict laws regarding DUIs. Even first-time offenders might end up paying tens of thousands of dollars in legal fines and fees if they are found guilty. In addition to the monetary penalties, the judge might also force you to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle once your license suspension is up.
One of the biggest expenses of a DUI conviction is the rise in insurance premiums. Once the driver is able to get behind the wheel of a vehicle again, they will most likely need to apply for specialized insurance. Coverage for a driver who has a DUI on their record is prohibitively expensive, and it can end up costing them thousands of dollars extra every year. Even their employer might take a look at their driving record and decide that they are too much of a liability to work for the company. Those are just a few of the reasons why it is so important for you to spend some time researching how to beat a DUI.
Understanding the Legal Process
After being arrested, the law enforcement officer will most likely ask you to take a chemical BAC test. Drivers who refuse these tests will generally have their licenses suspended automatically. If you decide to take the test, then those numbers will be placed in the report for the DMV hearing and your first appearance in front of a judge. Most of those who are charged with a DUI have their cars impounded and spend at least 12 hours in a cell. From the moment that you have access to a phone, it is vital that you contact a drunk driving lawyer.
What is DUI Lawyer?
A DUI lawyer is a legal professional who focuses on DUIs, DWIs, reckless driving, and other similar charges. After completing law school and passing the bar exam, they might take additional classes that cover the nuances of driving laws and regulations. Lawyers often focus their attention on a single area of the law due to how complex these issues can be. Trying to master every single aspect of the law is impossible, and that is why it is so important to work with an attorney who has invested time and energy into learning about DUI cases.
What to Expect in the Coming Months
What takes place after a DUI charge depends on many different factors such as the individual’s driving record and where the arrest took place. In most cases, the process will begin with an arraignment hearing where they will be officially charged. You must have a DUI lawyer by your side well before the arraignment because you will be asked to enter a plea. Those who plead not guilty or no contest can change their plea at a later time, but an admission of guilt is almost always irreversible.
You will then be ordered to attend a preliminary hearing where the official evidence will be shared by the state. Some of the most common forms of evidence for DUI charges include the chemical BAC test, the officer’s report, reports from any witnesses, and footage from the camera inside the officer’s vehicle. In order to come up with a compelling case, your attorney must be there for the preliminary hearing as well. They can then file a pre-trial motion to gain access to the evidence so that it can be carefully studied.
Fighting and Beating a DUI
There is no single argument or method that a legal representative can use to win every case. Over the years, many different tactics have been used to reduce these charges or beat them entirely. One of the most common methods for beating a DUI is to examine the accuracy of the BAC testing kits. Depending on what type of kit was used on you, it might not have been calibrated or administered correctly. Your attorney will need to take a closer look at the law enforcement officer’s career as well. If you were pulled over illegally or the officer has a history of false arrests, then those issues might become major factors in the case.
It is important for all drivers to realize that law enforcement officers have undergone extensive training to try and get drivers to incriminate themselves. Even if they are not directly being hostile, they might still coerce you into saying or doing things you didn’t want to do. Issues such as searching your vehicle without asking or going through your pockets before you were officially arrested could be grounds to have the entire case thrown out.
A Look at DUI Checkpoints
Over the last few decades, DUI checkpoints have become a heated topic throughout the United States. Drivers who are arrested at checkpoints often feel as if they have no recourse, but that isn’t always true. Even though the Supreme Court has upheld the legality of DUI checkpoints, law enforcement teams must adhere to very strict rules such as notifying citizens of the upcoming checkpoint and establishing a safe area to interrogate drivers. Any logistical mistakes that they made while setting up the checkpoint could eventually impact your case.
How Much Do DUI Lawyers Cost?
One of the biggest mistakes that a driver can make is failing to call a drunk driving attorney because they are unsure of the costs. In many states, a single DUI conviction can end up costing a driver over $25,000. In addition to the immense fines and fees, a conviction will be a serious blemish on your record that might affect your career for years to come. Without a DUI attorney by your side, completely beating your charges is going to be nearly impossible.
Many drivers are glad to hear that almost all attorneys offer a free consultation to their potential clients before they pick up a case. During this consultation, they will want to learn more about how the arrest was carried out and what took place while you were being questioned. Once you have given them that information, they will have a much better idea of how they can create an airtight case. Some of these legal representatives might even offer to take on your case at no cost to you unless you win.
Moving on With Your Life
No matter what you plan on doing next, it is always a good idea to schedule a preliminary consultation with an experienced DUI attorney to explore your legal options. A DUI is one of the worst offenses that a driver can ever be charged with, and it could even lead to time in jail if you are a repeat offender or someone was injured while you were behind the wheel. From the moment that you contact an attorney, you can rest assured that your case is being handled by a legal professional who wants you to move on with your life as quickly as possible.