I often get asked…”Do I need a DUI attorney for my case?” or “What can a DUI lawyer do for me that I can't do for myself?”
First of all, you don't have to plead guilty to a DUI, just because you were arrested and charged! That being said, how will you know whether pleading guilty or going to trial is a good choice? It depends on a lot of factors such as the evidence, the charges, and your past record. And what charge should you plead to? Guess who can help you analyze that information?
Your lawyer can analyze the evidence. The decision of whether to accept a plea bargain or go to trial depends on the prosecution's evidence. Sure we all know that .08 is the legal limit for DUI, but what if you were above or below that limit. Did the police have a legal reason to stop you?; was it a DUI checkpoint?; what test was given?; were the tests conducted according to the law?; was the machine properly maintained, was it calibrated? Your attorney knows these things and can analyze the evidence against you, then you can make an informed decision about what to do next.
Your lawyer is trained to negotiate. Pleading guilty isn't just about admitting to what happened. Entering a plea is about getting a better outcome or “deal” than what you could get if you went to trial and lost. Are you prepared to negotiate the charges and the punishment with the District Attorney and/or the judge? Well, your lawyer is. Negotiation is a key part of being an attorney.
Your lawyer is on your side. In a DUI case, the District Attorney is against you, and the judge is neutral at best. No matter how nice those people might be, they are not… and never will be… on your side! The only person who will be able to give you help and be on your side is your attorney.
A DUI attorney can also explain the consequences that you could possibly face at the DMV and in court. Instead of asking around or hearing the wrong information, the DUI attorney is a knowledgeable and experienced professional. Does protecting your driver's license, record and perhaps your job or career really have a price tag?