Should You Get A DUI Attorney?
Should you get a DUI Attorney? Doing so can play to your advantage, especially if the factors surrounding the incident are aggravating. However, there are some cases where hiring a lawyer won’t tip the final outcome of the case.
The information provided below will assist you in determining whether or not you need a lawyer when facing DUI charges.
When You May Not Need A DUI Attorney
If it’s your first offense, you won’t need an attorney to help you; if no injuries occurred, then it’s highly likely that you’ll be charged with a DUI. In these kinds of scenarios, there’s a high probability you will have to plead guilty or no contest, after which you’ll be subject to the standard administrative penalties and sentence. If your Blood Alcohol Content was found to be specifically high (the limit in all of the states is 0.08% and or if the officer on patrol has strong additional evidence of impairment (slurred speech, alcohol smell on the breath, erratic driving, etc.) then the chances of getting a conviction is quite high.
Even if your situation falls under this general description, there are some factors in the case that may require legal help. If you aren’t sure about your case’s prospect, you can seek out an attorney to get a free initial consultation.
Using an Attorney For A DUI Plea Bargain
You can get the chance for a plea bargain if the case is not a slam and dunk for the prosecution per se. Court proceedings usually take up a lot of space on the docket and are downright expensive. So the state prefers accepting a plea deal to a less charge instead of going through a trial it may end up losing. You don’t need legal help to accomplish some plea bargains. However, seasoned attorneys are skilled at negotiating with the prosecution (and you can even find they have a pre-existing relationship with them). What’s more, a prosecutor may try bluffing when they have a weak case to provoke a guilty plea in scenarios where it would be more beneficial to the defendant if they got a plea deal.
So, if you were in such a situation, how would you plead down? Reckless driving would typically be considered to be a lesser charge; but there are states like Texas that have what is referred to as “wet reckless,” where the impairment is acknowledged but will carry a lesser sentence compared to a DUI that has no jail time. Unless your BAC is recorded to be higher than .08%, your license for driving will not be put under suspension after a wet reckless charge. But you should bear in mind that a wet reckless charge may still be regarded as a “prior DUI offense” if you’re convicted of such an offense for the second time.
Reduce Your Sentence Using An Attorney
There are some instances where the courts in a majority of the states would be willing to bargain down the DUI charge for a guilty plea instead. For example, if you’re facing a second or third DUI charge, it can land you in jail for months or even years. Rather than going to trial, the prosecution may be more inclined to lessen the sentence in return for a guilty plea. And if the DUI involves drugs other than alcohol, the lawyer can negotiate away impromptu drug testing or other probation conditions.
Plea bargaining, “sentence bargaining” will go more smoothly when dealt with by an attorney. You should note that it’s next to impossible to negotiate the sentence of a first-time offender or a non-injury DUI case.