If you’ve been cited with a DUI then it’s probably a good idea to get a DUI Lawyer. But, how can you know if you actually need one? Find out here.
There’s nothing worse than being on the road only to look in your review and see red and blue lights flashing. Getting pulled over is not a situation to take lightly, especially if you’ve been drinking.
Even if you’ve only had one or two drinks, there is still a chance you get charged for a DUI. If you were careless enough to get behind the wheel after going over the legal limit, it’s almost a guarantee you’re in serious trouble.
But interestingly enough, this doesn’t guarantee you need a DUI lawyer. There are some situations in which the charges you’re facing are unavoidable, and others when it’s better to get a lawyer sooner rather than later.
Not sure whether or not it’s worth hiring an attorney?
Here are 9 tips to help you determine if you actually need a DUI lawyer.
1. Someone Was Hurt as a Result of Your Driving
It’s bad enough that you endanger yourself and everyone in your vehicle by driving under the influence. But, if you hit a pedestrian or another vehicle you absolutely need a DUI attorney on your side.
Causing an accident by driving drunk significantly increases the severity of your case. Even if you weren’t at fault for the accident but you were found to be under the influence, you can end up with serious consequences. As such, your best bet is to seek legal support.
2. Aggravating Circumstances Are Involved
When a charge goes beyond a DUI offense, it’s considered to have aggravating circumstances. This may include an accident, but it can also relate to things like the endangerment of a child, property damages, or if you’re facing a repeat offense.
These conditions don’t work in your favor at all, so you need a DUI lawyer who knows how these things go in order to get the best possible outcome. Keep in mind that may not mean walking away clean, but it can ease the blow of the consequences you have to face.
3. You Took Drugs Other Than Alcohol
Here’s an aggravating circumstance to consider: maybe you weren’t under the influence of alcohol but you were driving impaired due to marijuana, painkillers, or some other drug.
It doesn’t matter whether these were prescribed or illicit drugs, you should still know better than to drive without a clear mind. More so, driving under the influence of alcohol in addition to another drug is basically asking for legal trouble to come your way. But, you can research more info about defending your case if you find yourself in such a situation.
4. You’re a Commercial Driver
Another case in which it’s ideal for you to hire a DUI lawyer is if you’re a commercial driver. This goes for whether you were driving a company vehicle or on the road on your own time.
Getting charged with a DUI can lead to you losing your job, and it’s a major red flag for future employers to see this on your record. Even though it’s not smart to try and cover up your case before your current employer finds out, there is hope for you (and your career) if you hire a DUI attorney and beat your case.
5. You Failed a Sobriety Test
The thing about beating your case is that it’s going to be much harder to do if you failed a field sobriety test. This could either be a breath test or a field sobriety test like walking in a straight line and answering simple questions.
Still, failing this test in the moment of your arrest doesn’t put you in a good light when the time to go to court comes around. Hiring an attorney is basically your Hail Mary in this case, yet could be worth the effort.
6. It’s Not Your First Time Getting a DUI
It’s easier to prove your innocence in a DUI case when it’s your first offense. After you’ve had a similar charge recorded against you – or even more than one – it’s a hard thing to bounce back from.
A previous DUI record shows you may have a tendency to make bad decisions when it comes to drinking and driving. You’re basically telling the legal system that you haven’t learned your lesson and that you need something more than a slap on the wrist to get this through your head.
7. You’d Like to Reduce Your Charges
Maybe you’re not as concerned with walking away 100% clean as you are with reducing your charges. Your best bet to get a smaller fine or less jail time is to have a professional defend you. A DUI attorney who understands how the court of law works is much better off negotiating your case than you are.
8. You Believe You’re Not Guilty
What if you don’t think you’re guilty at all? This is a fine line to walk when facing a DUI charge, but it’s not impossible to prove.
However, it is smart to present your case in the most professional, well-thought-out manner possible than to try to handle it on your own. Working with a DUI lawyer on your side means you know how to move forward with your case and potentially prove your innocence.
9. You Need Someone Other Than a Public Defender
Whether you think you’re completely innocent or you’re more interested in lowering your charges, you do have the right to a public defender. This is an attorney the legal system will provide for you.
But, it’s usually better to hire your own DUI lawyer. Public defenders work on all kinds of cases. They’re not necessarily specialized in DUI’s and they won’t always be as easy to get along with and trust as a lawyer you find for yourself. Think about this before you decide to just take whoever is assigned to you.
Hiring a DUI Lawyer as the Victim of an Accident
Keep in mind that legal support is also available for victims of DUI cases. If you or a loved one were hit or otherwise endangered by a driver who was under the influence, you probably have a case. You just need to find someone to present and defend it.
A DUI lawyer isn’t the best person for the job, though. These people focus on defending those at fault, not the victims. Victims are better off hiring accident attorneys.
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