When Should A Person Consider Hiring A DUI Attorney?

Some may think a DUI attorney is not necessary every time someone is found driving under the influence, but in some cases, a lawyer can make an enormous difference. Whether or not legal representation is worth it depends on the case’s details and whether or not the accused has prior convictions of driving under the influence. If an accused person decides to hire a lawyer, they will have a better chance of getting a sentence reduction or getting the charge thrown out altogether. Most importantly, though, a lawyer will be able to offer knowledgeable counsel through every part of the process, preparing their client for every possible obstacle.

When should a person consider hiring a DUI attorney?

In general, the only time a person can go without a lawyer is if they plan on pleading guilty to a first offense and if there is incontrovertible evidence of driving under the influence. The penalties for a first-time offender are fairly standard. However, if a person is at fault for driving under the influence, they will need to be extremely careful not to receive a second conviction. A second offense may mean extended jail time in tougher jurisdictions.

This assumes that the accused was subjected to an accurate chemical test for alcohol (blood or breath test). If field sobriety tests were the only measures used to detect alcohol use, it is usually a good idea to hire a lawyer. Field sobriety tests are considerably inaccurate as police officers typically don’t have the training to make these judgments. If there is no chemical evidence of alcohol use and no dangerous or uncooperative behavior present, then a lawyer may be able to secure a lesser sentence for a person accused of driving under the influence.

In some states, a person may push for a plea bargain if details of the incident are uncertain, arguing for a “wet reckless” conviction
. In Texas, though, this is almost never an option as state laws prohibit it. However, if a person faces a second or third offense, a DUI attorney is still a very valuable ally to have. The penalties for a second or third offense are much greater than a first offense and may include jail time or hefty fines. A convicted individual may also have their license suspended, which is something worth avoiding at all costs.

A DUI attorney can help an accused client avoid the worst of these penalties, either by taking the case to trial or by sentence bargaining. If the facts of the case are unclear, or if the recorded BAC is just beyond the legal limit (between .08 and .11), a lawyer may be able to secure a not guilty verdict for the accused. No matter the circumstances, the accused individual will need a lawyer if the case will be going to trial. Even if a conviction is all but certain, legal counsel can still help bargain for a more lenient sentence, typically minimizing or eliminating jail time and license suspension.

This article was published on Wednesday 24 September, 2014.

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