Driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense. So, if you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol, your charges will be heard in criminal court and depending on aspects like your criminal record and blood-alcohol concentration; or whether someone was hurt or killed, you could be facing a hefty fine or even a significant jail sentence. You also may lose your driving privileges for a certain period among other consequences.
DUI is a common crime in the US – perhaps that’s why many people assume that they don’t need a lawyer until everything gets out of hand, then all they want to do is get legal representation.
Well, it’s true, there are times when you don’t need a DUI attorney – like when you’re caught for the first time, when there are no injuries or harm or when you’re highly likely to be convicted of a DUI. In such cases, you’ll most definitely plead guilty and be subject to administrative penalties and standard offer. If you are involved in a Newton County drunk driving accident, for instance, and the officer confirms that your BAC is high, and establishes strong evidence of impairment, then your chance of conviction is high. Theoretically, the standard sentence is the same irrespective of whether you have a public defender, private lawyer or you are representing yourself.
While you may not need to hire a lawyer in these situations, you’ll still need some legal assistance trying to navigate through this case. Consulting with a DUI attorney may help inform you about the magnitude of your case, and also advise you on the best course of action that you can take. Luckily, most DUI lawyers offer a free initial consultation, so you can get as much information as you require without having to bring them on board.
When to hire a DUI attorney
If you are innocent – like you did not drink at all, but failed the breath test or sobriety test – then you’ll need to lawyer up. Don’t try to represent yourself, hoping the truth shall set you free – if you want to prove your innocence, let a professional help out.
You also should hire an attorney when you are not aware of your BAC level at the time of your arrest. The attorney will use that to argue in your defense. It’s also recommended that you call your lawyer even after being tested – for advice.
You should hire a DUI defense lawyer when you are arrested. Don’t forget you have the right to remain silent even when you are being interrogated. Under most circumstances, you only have ten days to contest an administrative license revocation following a driving under the influence in Newton County, so you want to call a good DUI defense lawyer quickly. These attorneys will inform you and guide you through your defense process. Often, their task is to ensure that you are prepared to go to court. They will also help you complete some requirements before your court appearance.