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Do I Need an Attorney for First DUI Offense?

— February 18, 2021

Though you can self-represent, it is never a good idea. Hire an experienced DUI defense attorney who can handle your case efficiently.

Whether you are innocent or guilty, if facing DUI charges, you must hire a DUI defense attorney to clear your name. Often a first defense is considered a misdemeanor; you may be sentenced as mentioned in the law.  

Instead, if you drove in an intoxicated state, and there is strong evidence of alcohol in your blood, or there are witnesses to your erratic driving, a lawyer may not be able to help you. If there is a circumstance that may increase your penalty or aspects which can reduce the punishment, you can hire a lawyer.

If you are unsure about your position or situation, an attorney can guide you and represent you if facing a trial.

Deciding to plea bargain

If you think you have been wrongly charged or haven’t received space to defend yourself, you can plea bargain.

Here we have listed factors that cast doubt on your arrest:

  • Unsatisfactory results of field sobriety test
  • BAC lesser than 0.08%
  • Doubt on the accuracy of BAC
  • Procedural problems during your arrest

Local DUI lawyers know how prosecutors work and what arguments to be placed to get a plea. In a few states, the prosecution can reduce charges in reckless driving as it was alcohol responsible for the incident.

To get a plea bargain, facts must be in your favor. And with less clarity in your case, the chance of success is more.

Getting lesser sentence

Though judges carefully handle judgments, you can bargain sentences to get reduced impact. If this is your first DUI offense, your chances of requesting a bargain are more. A lawyer will know the facts and help you win a better outcome.

What to be done in a difficult situation?

If yours is not just a case of a misdemeanor, having a lawyer is inevitable. Certain situations can transform a first-time DUI into a felony, that includes the following:

  • Very high BAC
  • DUI with a child in a car
  • Causing injuries

A good lawyer can help you reduce your sentence or get a better bargain, which you can never do independently.

Prison Officer Jailed After an Affair with Murderer
Photo by Marco Chilese on Unsplash

Representing yourself in court is very challenging, and it is a smart decision to hire a lawyer. You have to know every aspect of the law and find a way to reduce your sentence or penalty.

Hire a legal expert

When you find yourself in this situation, it is right to discuss with an expert lawyer who has experience in cases like yours. They can give you the best advice.

You may opt for a private defender or a public defender to represent you. Often public defenders handle a lot of DUI cases. They know how the system works and give you possible assistance to get the best deal for you.

  • If they have adequate experience, they can negotiate a good deal for you.
  • If your income is high enough not to qualify for a public defender, you can hire a private lawyer if you want representation.

To be successful, keep three things in mind.

  • A lawyer who regularly handles DUI cases can bring you a better outcome than a general lawyer.
  • Make sure to list all factors that can decide the cost of your case.
  • It is a good idea to discuss more than one lawyer and choose one that best suits your interest.

Though you can self-represent, it is never a good idea. Hire an experienced DUI defense attorney who can handle your case efficiently.

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