Three Things You Should Know About Legal Representation After An Arrest For DUI

Posted on: 25 September 2019

You should always keep in mind that driving under the influence is a crime. You are arrested and charged like any other crime. This means you are entitled to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, you can use one for free from the public defender's office. However, if your income is such that you must hire your own attorney or represent yourself, you need to give strong consideration to hiring a private attorney. The following are a few things you need to know if you find yourself in this situation.

Representing yourself is never a good idea

There is an old saying that a man who represents himself has a fool for a client. Lawyers know this. Even lawyers need lawyers. Poor people get free lawyers because the law is complex and you can end up with a punishment far worse than was necessary. Sometimes an attorney can negotiate for lesser punishment because there are weaknesses in a case that make it difficult to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. There is never a standard outcome for the charges against you. Without an attorney, you may be punished far more than you anticipate, even if this is your first offense.

An attorney can often mitigate the consequences of a DUI

Although there are never any guarantees with the outcome of any court case, a DUI attorney can often make your punishment less than it will be representing yourself. One example of this is with your driver's license. In some states, you may be able to drive once a breathalyzer is installed in the ignition of your car. In some jurisdictions, there is the possibility that you are still able to drive during working hours. This is extremely important if you drive a vehicle as a part of your job. In this situation, an attorney can save you from unemployment.

You can consult with an attorney before hiring one

If you are the least bit skeptical, you can consult with a DUI attorney before hiring one. Many attorneys will offer a free consultation while others will charge a small fee. Even for a small fee, you will find a consultation worth the fee. Once you have explained the circumstances of your charges, an attorney can then provide options that they may be able to pursue. You will find out quickly how important an attorney is with criminal charges associated with your DUI arrest.

Hiring an attorney after you have been charged for driving under the influence can help to alleviate your sentence. This is true even if it is your first offense. The courts can be surprisingly harsh to defendants under these circumstances. And if you already have a DUI on your record, hiring an attorney takes on greater significance.