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Despite knowing how severe DUI or DWAI charges for drunk driving can be, it seems there is a propensity among people to commit the crime. Or else how could you explain the fact that despite fewer arrests in Michigan for drunken driving over the past decade, the incidents of fatal road accidents are on the rise? Everybody driving on the America roads is aware that BAC (blood alcohol concentration) above 0.08 can put them on the wrong side of the law, but still, numerous people are unable to limit it. That results in the officials booking them on charges of Driving Under the influence (DUI). Impaired driving is dangerous because you are not only risking your life but also putting many other lives at risk. Naturally, it is a grave offense, and offenders face criminal charges of varying degrees depending on many factors.
The penalty can range from hefty fines to jail term depending on the nature of the crime committed. The blood alcohol concentration and your criminal record are the prime considerations for framing charges. Besides, the fallout of the incident is also an important consideration. Depending on whether someone was injured or if people died in the accident the gravity of the crime and the punishment can become more stringent. While paying fines might help to come out from the lighter charges, for grievous incidents that result in injury or death, judges might order jail term. No matter in which state you reside, you are sure to lose your driving rights for some time and depending on the laws of the state may have to install a device for ignition interlocking post the suspension period.
Now the question is, should you get a DUI attorney like Geman Criminal Defense lawyer to protect your interests in the case in the best way? Well, it depends on the merit of the case. If you feel that the outcome of the case will be the same despite appointing an attorney, there is no need to seek help. But, if you find that there are aggravating conditions and you think that the attorney can work out things in your favor, you have to seek legal help from trained, experienced and reliable legal professionals specializing in DUI laws. Keep reading to know how to determine whether you need an attorney or not.
You have to take a chance
Since the DUI charges are serious enough it can affect your future life and earnings, hiring an attorney despite the expenses, seem to be the only choice. Attorneys who specialize in defending drivers charged with drunken driving can bail you out from the crisis. The lawyers can get the charges reduced or dismissed depending on the case, but nothing is specific. There may have been a time in the past when people could escape the charges by paying fines. But you cannot do this anymore, and attorneys might or might not be able to live up to your expectation. The reason is that the traffic laws have changed and since the time all states in the US have adopted laws related to drunken driving per se and some other laws, it has become mandatory to judge the offenders on DUI charges.
Do you need or do not need DUI Attorney?
DUI is a severe crime in the United States no matter in which state you are in. However, you will probably not need a DUI lawyer in case of the first-time offense. In such cases, you have better chances of pleading not guilty or even opt for no contest. It may result in invoking the standard sentence, and you may be let off with administrative penalties.
However, the likelihood of conviction is high in case the BAC is higher than the prescribed limit, and the officer has substantial evidence of impairment like slurred speech, smelling of alcohol when breathing and erratic driving. In such cases, legal assistance from a DUI lawyer is a must. Moreover, even if a case might appear quite simple to a layperson, there could be some factors that need legal handling by the experts.
Initiating a DUI plea bargain
If the DUI case is not apparent for prosecution, a person can explore the opportunities of plea bargaining. A trail takes a lot of time and involves enormous amounts of money on the part of everybody involved. Sometimes the state may accept a plea for a smaller charge instead of going for the full trail. A DUI lawyer can do it for their client. They can also take preventive measures so that the prosecutor cannot mislead the proceedings. In some cases plea bargain gives a lighter sentence than DUI without jail time. So ultimately initiating the plea bargain and the result of it will all depend on the laws of the state where the crime happened.
In certain instances, courts in some states are willing to bargain to bring down a DUI sentence by accepting a guilty plea. Suppose you are facing for a DUI of second or third degree which can result in imprisonment from a few months to few years. It might be possible that the prosecution agrees that instead of taking it to trial they are willing to accept a guilty plea in exchange for reducing the sentence. In some other situation, if the DUI charge includes other drugs besides alcohol, the attorney may try to find out ways of seeking probation by negotiating for random drug testing or imposition of other conditions. Just as attorneys can do better plea bargaining, they can also do a similar act for reducing the sentence that provides relief to the defendants.
DUI lawyers are expensive and whether or not to spend money on a DUI lawyer depends on how well you read the case and predict the outcome. It also depends on your risk-taking ability. However, if you believe in playing safe than being sorry then hiring a DUI attorney is your only choice.