When facing a criminal charge such as DUI, there are three legal representation options that an individual may choose from: self representation, a court-appointed lawyer or a private criminal defense attorney. The least popular option is to select self-representation, as this is the most risky option.
It’s a common mistake for one to believe that if they plan to plead guilty to their charges that a lawyer is not needed. However, they are forgetting that a lawyer might figure out options or to reduce the sentencing. An unexpected number of cases for driving under influence never even make it to the conviction phase because a good DUI defense attorney may find problems within the case itself and have it dismissed.
Court-appointed attorneys are not available to all defendants. The government has set standards to figure eligibility for either complete or partial representation. These guidelines include the income of the defendant among other factors. An advantage to using public defenders is that they have more experience in and knowledge of a specific court system. A major disadvantage is that a defendant does not have the option of selecting their court appointed attorney. This is a key factor in the process of choosing a private attorney.
A defendant will want to research and interview multiple potential lawyers, being prepared with plenty of questions. You should avoid selecting an acquaintance or a cheaper lawyer who specializes in a different legal practice. An experienced DUI defense attorney will have access to important research and knowledge of related trial outcomes. This is the foundation of developing an effective and comprehensive strategy.
While a guilty plea might seem like the easiest way out, it is important to consider the potential consequences. You could lose your driver’s license; end up with a hefty fine or jail time. Your insurance premiums may go up and you may also be sentenced to counseling, community service, alcohol classes or AA meetings, even if it’s your first arrest for such a thing. A professional lawyer will be able to analyze and evaluate all facts surrounding the case including the manner in which the field test was given, handling of the blood samples and the following of all other procedures during the arrest.
Even if you have already been convicted of driving under the influence, DUI defense attorney can help to get the conviction off your permanent record. This service can be a priceless service given the potential difficulty finding a job with a DUI on your record.