The statistics on driving under the influence are staggering. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a million US drivers were arrested in 2016 for driving under the influence. If you are one of the individuals facing a DUI charge, you may be wondering if and when you should get a lawyer. After all, attorneys can be expensive, and a DUI charge may not seem too bad of a charge.
However, to the untrained individual, navigating a DUI charge is much different than handling traffic offenses. The world of law is vast, confusing, and incredibly detailed, and having lawyers to help guide you through the process of dealing with a DUI charge can help immensely. If you’re on the fence about obtaining an attorney, review these four scenarios when a DUI lawyer may be of great use to you and your family.
Start with a Consultation
There’s no harm in chatting with a lawyer about your charges and your potential case. Most lawyers will happily consult with you about your charges for free or a small fee. The fee is certainly worth the clarity some lawyers can give you about your charges and your case, and a consultation can definitely help you decide if you need an attorney to represent you in court.
A Lawyer for Your Second Offense
Not all court systems work in exactly the same way, but typically, if a DUI charge is your first DUI offense, you may not need to hire a lawyer. The sentence and license suspension may be significantly lighter than a second or third offense. However, if this is your second or third offense, you’ll want to consider having a lawyer on your team. There’s much more work to be done in getting a lighter sentence after a second DUI offense, and a lawyer can help you achieve that.
Consider a Lawyer if You have DMV Proceedings
No one is a fan of the DMV, and if you have DMV proceedings as part of your case, a lawyer can be an incredible help at navigating the long, confusing process. And additionally helpful is having the same lawyer handle you in criminal court. By retaining a lawyer for DMV proceedings and representing you in criminal court, you’ll be able to work with someone who knows the ins and outs of all your proceedings.
You’ll Definitely Want a Lawyer for Trial
If your case is going to trial, you will definitely want a lawyer at your side. You are legally entitled to representing yourself in court, but it’s rarely advised. The law is very complex, and there are dozens of ways your case can branch off. A lawyer will be able to successfully navigate you through the entire process.
A DUI charge does not mean your world is at its end. Having a great attorney at your side can help you successfully navigate the entire process, and help you get your life back on track.