7 Things a DUI Attorney Can Do for You
If you have been arrested for driving while impaired, you may be understandably scared at the prospects ahead of you and wonder how you will handle the charges you face. You might be weighing the pros and cons of hiring a DUI attorney but hesitate because of the expense. However, before you decide to fight your drunk driving charge alone, here are seven things you might want to consider as you make your decision.
1. Takes Your DUI Case Seriously
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were about 112 incidents of drinking and driving in 2010. While increased legislation has reduced the number of drinking and driving arrests over the past five years by about 30 percent, the problem remains a serious issue for law enforcement personnel.1 In practical terms, the courts take DUI offenses seriously, and you need someone on your side who takes your freedom just as seriously.
2. Believes Your Case Can Be Won
Some attorneys automatically enter guilty pleas on the behalf of their clients. However, despite evidence against you because of a breath test, field sobriety test or police report, our firm believes we can win your case. We understand the inherent issues that sometimes come up with these tests and know how to fight against them. We can defend your rights with confidence.
3. Fights the Results of the Breath Test and Field Sobriety Tests
When law enforcement personnel administer a breath test, they must follow a strict set of procedures very closely. Failure to do so means the results may be flawed. We can attack the validity of these tests based on a number of reasons, such as an officer’s observation of you prior to giving the test and current certification of both the equipment and the operator. In addition, we might review the training manual for breathalyzers in order to ensure that the police officer followed the proper procedure when administering the test. Similar rules apply to the field sobriety tests; the police must adhere to strict standards when they give you the tests. For example, if the road slopes, you might inadvertently walk at an angle, and the police officer might claim you performed poorly on the FST. If you can show a valid reason for not performing well, the judge might consider your arguments.
4. Files a Motion to Suppress Evidence
The courts sometimes dismiss DUIs because of a number of technical issues with the case. For example, if you have health issues, such as diabetes, or are on a special diet, the breath test can easily be suppressed, which means the evidence might not be admitted in court. In that case, the entire basis for the case might be invalid. A motion to suppress gives the attorneys the opportunity to question the police who arrested you.
5. Visits the Scene of Your Arrest
The location where you were arrested can impact your DUI. If your attorney visits the arrest location, they can ask you about it when they meet with you. They can question the version of events outlined by law enforcement officers based on what they find at the scene.
6. Explains All the Implications of a Conviction or Guilty Plea
Your lawyer should completely explain what can happen if you are convicted or plead guilty. You need to understand that you could be subject to any or all of the following consequences and that someone of them are mandatory. These include fines and court fees, increased insurance rates, probation, time in custody, an inability to rent a vehicle, loss of your job and driver’s license suspension or revocation. If you don’t know about all of these penalties, you can’t make a fully informed decision on pleading guilty in your case.
7. Takes Your Case to Trial if Needed
While going to trial might make you nervous, remember that you are innocent unless you are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Your lawyer’s job is to defend you, and usually this means you should not get on the stand and risk the prosecution cross-examining you. A jury cannot hold it against you if you don’t testify. Your lawyer might try to show that the defense has a weak case. The attorney does not need to make it seem like the police officer has lied but can attempt to cast doubt on the testimony of law enforcement personnel. Your attorney can also call an expert witness for the defense who can help with your case.
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