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Should I Use A DUI Lawyer To Represent Me?
Going to trial for a DUI offence is no small matter and should be handled by a DUI lawyer for best results.
The question of whether or not you need a DUI lawyer to represent you in court comes down to your personal choice. It is always recommended to seek legal assistance, no matter what you’re charged with and a DUI offence is no exception. Maybe you’ve done some research regarding your conviction and have been through the arraignment process already and feel that you can represent yourself. This should be approached very cautiously, especially if your intentions are to fight the charges with a plea of not guilty.
At the very least, you should get the opinion of an experienced DUI lawyer from your state. Discuss the strengths or weaknesses associated with your situation to ascertain your chances in a trial scenario. To get an accurate read on the situation a DUI lawyer is absolutely necessary.
When Do I Not Need a Lawyer?
If you are a first offender and have determined that the evidence against you is too much, then perhaps a guilty plea is your best route. If your blood alcohol rating was much higher than .08 BAC or you have miserably failed a field sobriety test performed by a police office then a guilty plea is probably in your best interest. The tender of a guilty plea is the only scenario where you may make out ok without legal representation. However, even a simple guilty plea often has a better outcome with the assistance of a DUI attorney to assist you.
Can I Plea Bargain?
Depending on the evidence against you (blood alcohol level, field sobriety test results etc) you may be able to attempt a plea bargain with the prosecutor. For a plea bargain scenario it is highly recommended that you obtain legal representation to handle the process properly. Often, prosecutors are unwilling to even negotiate with unrepresented defendants. Also, your DUI attorney has experience to draw on and make convincing arguments on your behalf. If you are successful, you may find your charges reduced to “reckless driving offences” and negate the necessity of a trial. Plea-bargaining to avoid jail time is also a common request if the DUI in question is not a first offence or someone was injured in the process. In this scenario a DUI lawyer is absolutely critical. If you cannot afford one and your financial situation permits, you will be eligible to receive help from a public defender, free of charge.
Am I A Candidate For Sentence Bargaining?
If plea-bargaining doesn’t work or is too risky based on the evidence against you, the option of sentence bargaining arises. Sentence bargaining is preliminary step to entering a guilty plea and accepting a conviction. If the evidence is too much to fight, or this is not a first offence, or someone was injured or the community was harmed then a guilty plea may be your only option. It is much easier to make a guilty plea if you know what your sentence will be. This is where your DUI lawyer will assist you in negotiating terms for your plea and ensuring you receive the lowest possible sentence for your situation.
When In Doubt, Hire A Lawyer
This rings true for all forms of legal trouble and having expert consultation on your side is never a bad thing. If you aren’t sure about where you stand, or don’t feel comfortable dealing with the situation yourself – get a lawyer to help you. If you are going to trial then make sure you have representation to make sure your rights are upheld and you get the treatment you deserve.
How Do I Find a DUI Lawyer?
Finding a DUI lawyer isn’t as hard as it seems. You can make the Internet work for you by researching relevant legal directories for your area or looking through review sites. The best way to get the correct information is to employ a Google search for a search phrase similar to “DUI lawyer Huntsville”, if you are located in Huntsville, Alabama and then researching the results you get. All lawyers provide a free consultation so get out there and “kick some tires” until you find representation that is suitable and sympathetic to your situation.