Every state as well as the District of Columbia has outlawed driving after consuming drugs or alcohol. This offense can lead to extensive punishments that range from steep monetary fines to jail time.
Because a DUI conviction can take a disastrous toll on your life, you should not fight a charge of impaired driving in court on your own. To protect your legal and financial future, you should hire a DUI attorney who can advocate for you before the judge and help minimize the penalties for DUI that you might have to face if you are convicted.
A DUI attorney can first and foremost ensure that your Constitutional rights are protected from the time you are arrested and charged until the time that you are released from your sentence.
As an aggravated DWI defendant, you are entitled to rights like due process, the right to representation in court, and the right to have counsel present when you are questioned. If any of those rights are violated, the charges against you can be dropped, and you can be exonerated and set free without facing DUI sentencing.
Your lawyer can also ensure that the law enforcement officer had adequate reasoning to pull you over and test you for inebriation. He or she can review your arrest file and also make sure that the results of any field sobriety test were reached fairly and without bias or mistakes. If any discrepancies are found, the attorney can go before the court and ask for the charges to be dismissed.
If you were lawfully stopped, arrested, and detained, you still need a DUI attorney to work your case and to advocate for you every step of the way. Because you may be unfamiliar with the state’s laws about drinking and driving, you are encouraged to have a legal professional by your side to advise and guide you. As such, you should look for an attorney who is experienced in this area of law and will dedicate the time needed to make sure you are treated fairly under the current laws for DUI.
As mentioned, you need a lawyer who has the legal know-how to minimize any penalty for drunk driving that you might have to face. Whether this will be your DUI first offense if you are convicted or you have prior DWI convictions on your record, you want the punishment that might be meted out to you to be adequate for the offense for which you have been arrested.
With that, immediately after your DUI arrest, you should search for and retain an attorney who knows the state DUI laws inside and out and can apply them suitably to your case. Your representation should have experience bargaining down charges, minimizing fines, and ideally using whatever legal means are necessary to have charges dropped and dismissed by the court.
A good DWI lawyer will have all of these qualifications and plenty more that could help you avoid serving time in jail and paying huge fines. You understandably want to return to your family, your job, and your everyday life. By retaining solid counsel, you may be able to shorten any time that you have to deal with legal wrangling.
Your need for a good lawyer does not end once you serve your time in jail, complete your community service, or pay your fines. You have a life to regain and a reputation to earn back with your family and society in general. How can you tackle such a monumental task without a legal expert by your side?
When you shop around for a lawyer, you should consider those who are willing to remain with you no matter how long it takes to get your life back in order. Your retainer fee should not only secure this professional’s services right after your arrest. It should also ensure that your attorney will commit himself or herself to your case after you complete your sentence to the satisfaction of the court.
After you finish your sentence, you should expect your attorney to check with the court to guarantee that the judge is aware that you satisfied the terms of your punishment. He or she can have you released from the sentencing quickly so that you can get on with rebuilding your life.
Your lawyer also can be on hand during the rebuilding process to tell you when it might be time to pursue an expungment of the DUI on your record. Having the conviction removed can heal wounds in your life that you alone are incapable of dealing with alone.
The removal may allow you to get a job, credit, and other financial necessities to live your life. It may also allow you to reclaim a future that was put on hold for your family.
As you consider these facts, you should keep in mind that it would not be unreasonable to create a list of concerns and questions to have your would-be attorney address during your initial meeting. For example, you could ask how often do DUI cases get reduced or dismissed based on the evidence in your case. The answer the lawyer gives can give you an idea of what your chances might be if you do go to court and have to face off with a judge or jury.
If you are convinced about all of the reasons for why you need a DWI attorney working for you, your next concern might be where to find one who is ready to take your case. You can retain one quickly by using some common sense search and vetting tips.
Retaining a DWI Lawyer
So exactly how can you find a DWI lawyer who is accepting new clients and has the experience and legal tenacity for which you are searching? As soon as you are booked and processed for the charge and have posted bail for your release, you should immediately start using a variety of methods to locate an attorney quickly for your defense.
You can start by asking friends and family members whom they would recommend for your DWI arrest. With as common an offense that driving under the influence is, it is logical that many people actually know the name of a good lawyer. Ask people in your family, circle of friends, and even at work for their input about what firm to call and what attorney to retain.
You also should look online and read reviews for local DWI lawyers. While you should take some reviews with a grain of salt, you still should consider those that are favorable and give the highest marks. Use those reviews to call and vet attorneys who practice in this area of law.
You can also call or visit the website of the state bar association. Many bar associations categorize and maintain active lists of lawyers in each legal specialty. The bar can give you plenty of names of DWI attorneys who can handle your case and charge a rate that you can afford.
Finally, if you cannot afford an attorney but want one to be assigned to your case, you are entitled under the law to have one appointed to you at no charge. This right is guaranteed to you by the U.S. Constitution and must be made available to you at the time of your arrest. A court-appointed attorney can help you present your case to the court and also assist you in building a defense that could help you escape the worst penalties of the charge.
All 50 states and Washington D.C. have outlawed driving while intoxicated. If you are facing this charge in court, you should not go before a judge or jury alone. Find out what the benefits are for retaining and entrusting your case to a skilled and assertive DWI attorney.