Being charged with a DUI can ruin your life but it doesn’t have to. There are many things you can do that will mitigate or even eliminate the consequences of receiving a DUI. However, to make sure that your situation isn’t made any worse, it’s critical that you take the right steps immediately.
Get a DUI Attorney
First and foremost, you must engage the services of a qualified attorney that specializes in DUI cases. Not just any lawyer, but one who is familiar with DUI related laws, specifically, and has experience trying these cases. There are many very specific strategies which can be used to reduce charges or sentences, which a general practice lawyer may not be aware of.
If you think you can’t afford a DUI attorney, it’s still important to at least set up an appointment for one. Most attorneys will give you a free consultation for your first appointment, and may even work with you when it comes to cost. Even a free consultation, however, can provide you with valuable information. That’s because every DUI case is unique, and each one has particular features that can work for you and against you in court. Your attorney even if it’s during a single free consultation can often identify these features quickly to come up with a winning strategy.
Another point in favor of hiring a DUI lawyer is that you’re going to be spending money either way. That is, if you don’t get a lawyer, the cost of a DUI can be enormous. Fines can run into the thousands of dollars very quickly. You may very well find that it’s less expensive to hire a lawyer, in the long run, and if you can find an attorney that will work with you in terms of payments, it’s a much better deal.
Understand that You’re Innocent Until Proven Guilty
It’s important to remember that a DUI charge is not a DUI conviction. If there is any way to introduce reasonable doubt that you were impaired while driving, you could be found completely innocent and face no consequences at all. Many people who are charged with a DUI give up the second the ticket is written, thinking they’ve already been convicted. That’s not the case at all. Your attorney will be able to find any indication that the charge itself is invalid.
Another way to get out of a DUI charge is if the evidence submitted isn’t standardized or isn’t considered valid evidence for court. Often, the court won’t reject such evidence unless the plaintiff’s attorney forces the issue. That’s another reason it’s important to have a DUI attorney. The fact of the matter is, only your attorney is going to support you and defend you in court. Not the police. Not the judge. Not the justice system as a whole. You need an attorney so that you have someone on your side. The judge and jury aren’t going to listen to your opinion, but they will listen to a lawyer.