Do I Need a DUI Lawyer If It's My First Offense?
Because the average drunk driver has driven under the influence around 80 times before they're ever arrested, many people are inclined to believe that driving drunk is no big deal. But nothing could be further from the truth. Even first offenders may face serious penalties if they are convicted of a DUI. Let's take a closer look at why finding a DUI lawyer needs to be a priority, regardless of how many times you've been arrested for driving under the influence.
Do I Need a DUI Lawyer If It's My First Time Being Arrested?
In a word, yes. Some people do choose to go it alone, particularly if there's strong evidence that shows they were guilty; these individuals may assume (and rightly so, in certain cases) that even with help from an experienced attorney, the outcome would not change.
That being said, the fact that there's strong evidence against you doesn't mean a lawyer can't help. They can ensure that your rights are being protected and could even cast reasonable doubt on the case being built against you. Just because you believe you have no defense doesn't mean that a qualified lawyer will think the same. While the choice is up to you, there is likely something that can be gained by hiring a DUI attorney to defend you. Although you might not be found innocent, your lawyer may be able to negotiate dropped charges or lesser sentences than you might otherwise face. They may also be able to argue against the inclusion of certain evidence that you wouldn't think could be omitted. You simply won't know unless you talk to a lawyer.
First-time offenders often assume the penalties they'll face will be a mere slap on the wrist. But in certain circumstances, the consequences could be major. If your BAC levels were obscenely high, your drunken driving resulted in an accident, or there was a child in your car at the time of your arrest, you could face felony charges rather than a simple misdemeanor. In these cases, your answer to the "do I need a DUI lawyer" question is very much in the affirmative. In addition to the typical penalties you might face -- such as a license suspension, fines, mandated alcohol and drug counseling, or ignition interlock installation -- you could also be sentenced to a lengthy period of jail time. This is especially true if your first-time DUI arrest was the result of a crash that involved major injuries or fatalities. A lawyer will provide you with the best chance of a competent legal defense and the possibility of a reduced sense or a plea-bargain agreement.
If you've been recently pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, you might have asked yourself: "Do I need a DUI lawyer?" In the majority of cases, you will benefit immensely from having legal assistance. Whether it's your first offense or your fifth, a DUI can come with serious consequences. That's why it's so essential to hire a reputable DUI attorney if you are facing charges. To find out more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our law firm today.