Understanding What Houston DUI Lawyer Can Do For The First Time DUI Offense?
If you have been charged with a DUI and there are possible penalties or evidence of your innocence, it is best to consider hiring a DUI lawyer.
In many cases, a first time DUI offense is considered a misdemeanor and will usually entail a standard sentence being handed down. Many people, will consider choosing a guilty plea if they were driving while intoxicated and there is strong evidence to support that such as witnesses, erratic driving, elevated blood alcohol content or a failed field sobriety test. Usually, in these situations, a lawyer is not going to be able to help you.
However, if there are specific conditions regarding your case such as procedural issues, investigation mistakes are other mitigating circumstances, it is best to hire a DUI lawyer to ensure you get the best protection possible.
If you’re unsure about specific circumstances regarding your case, an attorney can help you understand the basic facts and create a plan of action to help represent you during a trial.
Understanding When To Plea Bargain
If there is any doubt about your case, it may be best to consider plea-bargaining. In regards to a plea bargain, you have the ability to plead guilty in exchange for a lesser charge.
Some basic factors that tend to create doubt about the jurisdiction of interest include:
Erratic Field Sobriety Test Results
- Blood Alcohol Content below .08%
- Questions regarding the accuracy of BAC
- Procedural issues regarding your arrest such as not being read your Miranda rights, in these situations an attorney has the ability to have your charges reduced or thrown out.
Local DUI lawyers will typically have a good understanding of how local prosecution will work and what needs to be done for a reduced plea.
There are some states where prosecutors can reduce the number of charges to a situation known as wet reckless. This plays out as reckless driving where alcohol was a factor. This type of charge will usually allow for a lesser sentence than a DUI.
In states that do not have a wet reckless charge, it is possible to plea down to a reckless driving charge.
It is possible to win a plea bargain on your own, especially if the evidence plays to your favor. However, in cases where the circumstances are cloudy, it is best to have an attorney argued for you.
When judges have the ability to hand down punishments, sentence bargaining may be used to enable you to get a lesser sentence.
However, all a judge may have this discretion they may not always use it. The vast majority of judges see a considerable amount of DUI cases and do not have time to examine each one individually, typically using the same sentence for almost all first-time offenders.
If the judges in your jurisdiction regularly except sentence bargains, an attorney is more than likely going to know the legal facts that are needed for a successful outcome.
If your particular case is more than a typical misdemeanor DUI, it becomes more important to have an attorney. There are circumstances within a first time DUI that can change it to a felony offense.
- DUI while a child is in the car
- Extremely high BAC.
- Injuries or death.
These and other considerations are extremely serious and can lead to prison time as well as other severe penalties. An experienced DUI lawyer will have a much better chance of reducing the plea that you have on your own.
While representing yourself in a plea or sentence bargaining could be considered a challenge, it certainly is not impossible. However, if your DUI is going to go to trial, it is almost absolutely essential to hire a lawyer
Trials are much more complex than bargaining procedures, and you are expected to follow all the procedures and laws correctly. Do not consider that a judge is going to be easy on you if you plead ignorance of the law.
There may be times when you simply need a little bit of advice to ensure you are making the correct decision with your plea. There are some attorneys who will help you evaluate your case and advise you on how best to proceed.
Unlike an initial consultation, these evaluations are typically not free, however, you’ll get very good legal advice.
Choosing A Public Defender Or Private Attorney
If your income is low, you may be able to qualify for a public defender as legal representation. Public defenders handle many DUIs throughout a good number of jurisdictions. Public defenders know how the system works and how they can get the best deal for you based upon the facts of your case.
If you’re able to qualify for a public defender, you want to seek out the type of reputation the public defenders’ office has in your jurisdiction. It may be possible for the public defender’s office to negotiate a decent deal with the prosecutor.
If your income is too high for a public defender, you will need to hire a private attorney or your representation. To ensure the best possible chance of success, you’ll need to keep a couple of things in mind:
- It is best to hire a DUI attorney as opposed to a general lawyer for the best possible outcome.
- Ensure that you know up front how much your entire case is going to cost including any factors that may change that cost.
- If possible, it is advisable to discuss your case with at least 2 to 3 lawyers to ensure you find one you are comfortable with.
In many cases, the initial consultation will be free to ensure that you choose the best attorney. However, keep in mind that there are some attorneys to do charge for the initial consultation but apply the fee to the overall cost of the case.
Usually, you will not need an attorney for your first time DUI offense. However, if your case is not straightforward or complicated, it is best to choose an attorney to increase the outcome of the case in your favor.
The Butler Law Firm has the experience that is needed to ensure those that have been charged with a DWI or DUI are going to have the best possible chance of a successful outcome through the process of the law and are well protected. If you are involved in a DUI, contact Mr. Butler as soon as possible for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. He has the experience that is needed for a successful case, do not delay.