If you have been charged with a DUI you may find yourself facing a number of severe penalties including a prison sentence, expensive fines, increased insurance rates, an administrative license suspension, and issues with future job prospects. You may find yourself wondering what a DUI lawyer can do to help and if the cost is worth it for you. This article will outline the ways experienced lawyers can benefit your DUI case.
Our attorneys will provide you with the legal advice you need to manage your DUI charges, help negotiate a beneficial plea bargain and prepare a strong defense for your trial. Contact a criminal defense attorney at DUI Lawyers 24/7 today to schedule a free consultation!
What Exactly Does a DUI Lawyer Do?
If you are being charged for driving under the influence (DUI), a DUI attorney's primary benefit is providing you with qualified legal advice to help you understand all the options available to you. Beyond that, they can negotiate an out of court settlement that is beneficial to you, and build the strongest possible defense if your case goes to trial.
Do I Need a DUI Lawyer?
Anyone caught and charged with driving under the influence should hire a DUI lawyer for help navigating the legal system. An experienced DUI lawyer knows the details of DUI law and can help steer you clear of common pitfalls to limit the consequences you may face. They will be able to adapt the case strategy as your case develops and create the strongest possible defense for your case based on the unique circumstances surrounding your arrest.
A major advantage of hiring a DUI lawyer is that they will handle all communication related to your case on your behalf. This includes dealing with insurance companies and filing paperwork with the courts. If your case goes to trial, they may also advise you against taking the stand in your own defense, as you may say something that could harm your case when being questioned by the prosecutor.
You may be weighing the advantages and disadvantages of a court-appointed attorney versus a private attorney at this point. Both will have experience in the local criminal courts, which can be a major advantage for your DUI case. The biggest drawback for public defender clients is the huge caseloads their attorney will handle. Public defenders are notoriously overworked and they may not be in a position to dedicate as much time to you as a private attorney can.
DUI law is highly complicated and can present you with a number of unique legal challenges. Having a knowledgeable attorney working on your case will help you ensure you meet all of the deadlines as necessary and collect any necessary evidence to support your case. This can include any factors surrounding your arrest process that would invalidate the arrest or any issues with the breathalyzer devices used to cast doubt on their results.
The bottom line is that a DUI lawyer may be able to lessen the charge or severity of penalties that you face, or even avoid a conviction altogether. If you are charged for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you should find a qualified DUI attorney as soon as possible.
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What if I Choose Not to Hire a DUI Attorney?
A drunk driving conviction can bring serious trouble with them, ranging from jail time and thousands of dollars in fines to losing your driving privileges and possibly even your job. While you are not required to hire a lawyer for your case, we strongly recommend that you do so. If you attempt to defend your case yourself, you leave yourself exposed to a significant amount of risk.
Choosing to represent yourself in court is almost always a bad idea. At DUI Lawyers 24/7, our attorneys know from firsthand experience just how difficult DUI trials can be, and we know what it takes to succeed. Someone attempting self-representation often has little to no knowledge of DUI law or courtroom decorum, which puts them at a severe disadvantage in their trial.
This is not helped by judges who are frequently impatient with unrepresented defendants who choose to run the case themselves without knowing what exactly that entails. An example would be the jury selection phase of a trial; an experienced attorney knows what to look for and exactly how to proceed when selecting jury members, do you?
If you intend to fight your charges in the courtroom, find a talented DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Attempting to save money by representing yourself is far more likely to cause you even more trouble than you are already facing.
Can a Lawyer Help Me Get Out of a DUI Charge?
Regardless of the strength of the case against you, you should not plead guilty to a DUI until you have consulted with an attorney. They will look over every detail of your case and may be able to draw up several potential defense strategies. A lawyer may find inconsistencies or issues with your arrest or with the chain of custody of evidence used against you that could be used to fight your charges.
Even if your lawyer is unable to help you avoid 100% of the consequences associated with a DUI charge, they may craft a legal strategy to lessen the charge or the severity of your punishment.
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Four Ways a DUI Attorney Can Help You
Below is a quick list of four of the biggest benefits of hiring an attorney for DUI charges:
A good DUI lawyer knows when you should speak and when you should be quiet. Never accept interviews regarding your case without your attorney, and direct any insurance company that calls to address their concerns to your legal representative. Many people also think that taking the stand to defend themselves in their case will help. Your lawyer will be able to break down the numerous ways this can go wrong and steer you clear of making poor decisions that can ruin your case.
Familiarity with the Local Legal System
This point goes beyond just knowing local laws regarding DUI cases, which is an invaluable benefit by itself. Your lawyer will spend a significant amount of time in and around the local courthouse, and likely has a strong professional relationship with the different judges and prosecutors. This can be enormously beneficial to you when it comes time to negotiate a plea bargain or build a defense based on the tendencies of a particular prosecutor.
Stay on Top of Your Case
This may seem obvious, but it is critically important to any criminal case. Many of the steps you may wish to take in a DUI case are time-sensitive. Hiring a lawyer means you don't have to keep track of each and every one of them, your attorney will handle it for you. This goes beyond filing paperwork to something as critical as requesting access to potentially exonerating evidence.
Negotiation with Local Prosecutors
Even an open and shut DUI case can often be resolved with a plea deal. This is because trying criminal charges in court can be both time-consuming and expensive, so prosecutors are often willing to negotiate plea bargains to move past the case quickly. An experienced DUI attorney will have years of practice in negotiating for a lesser charge or less severe punishment, in addition to a strong professional relationship with the prosecutor. A mutually beneficial plea deal can save everyone involved time, money, and a good deal of stress.
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Hire a Talented DUI Attorney
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have a major and lasting impact on your life. Drunk driving charges can end with potential jail time, expensive fines and court fees, a loss of your driving privileges, and permanent addition to your criminal record. A skilled Illinois DUI attorney brings many tools to the table to help you navigate your case, and may even be able to help you have your charges dropped entirely. Contact a criminal defense lawyer at DUI Lawyers 24/7 today to schedule a free initial consultation to see what we can do for you!