Do you need a lawyer to represent you in a DUI case? Hiring an experienced DUI Attorney always has its benefits — familiarity with the court system, knowledge of plea bargain details, and the ability to navigate complex administration procedures. It’s especially important if you are a repeat offender.
Should You Plead Guilty?
If this is your first DUI, you may choose to simply plead guilty. That might be a wise choice if there were some certainty that you would be convicted — for example if your BAC is higher than .11 and the arresting officer testifies that you were driving erratically. But before you plead guilty, you should learn about DUI fines, penalties and/or other options available in order to make an informed decision. Even if you are convinced you should plead guilty, it is always possible that a DUI attorney may offer advice or counsel that could affect the severity of your sentence. Also keep in mind that if your BAC was between .08 and .11 (and there may be some question as to whether the reading was accurate) conviction is less of a certainty and a DUI attorney may be able to better plea bargain your case. There are also various other administrative remedies that may help your case.
In addition to plea bargaining (where the charge is reduced to a lesser one, like from DUI to reckless driving), most states have sentence bargaining. Sentence bargaining is extremely useful where a guilty plea might result in a long period of incarceration. For example, you may be willing to plead guilty to a second DUI but only if you know what your sentence will be. The same is true with an aggravated DUI cases where your BAC is over .15, or injury or death has resulted. In these types of cases you probably wouldn’t want to plead guilty unless you knew what sentence you’re going to get, and you would be well advised to have an attorney (as is generally true with all non-routine DUI cases).
Second Offenders Should Seek an Attorney
If this is not your first DUI / DWI, you will most likely need the assistance of a DUI attorney. If you’re concerned about the costs, some DUI attorneys will work with you and may offer credit payment plans or discounts.
If you need have been arrested for DUI, call an experienced attorney at The Nelson Law Firm for a free initial consultation at 205-994-3183.