Being charged with impaired driving is never a positive experience. For those who have never run afoul of the law, it can become the first entry on a criminal history if there is a conviction for actually driving under the influence. For those who are multiple offenders, the problems are intensified in terms of punishment, including significant jail time. This is not to mention the fact that all states have reviewed their impaired driving laws over the past two decades and have set mandatory minimums for prosecutors who are handling intoxicated driving cases. In addition, when there is an accident involved, the impaired driver is almost always the primary responsible party. Accidents that include fatalities can result in vehicular homicide charges or manslaughter charges as well, based on the material case facts. Even first DUI charges that are prosecuted based on borderline or insufficient evidence can mean significant ongoing problems for a defendant in the event of a conviction without the benefit of solid legal counsel. Because of focus on the seriousness of intoxicated driving, including those driving under the influence of drugs or controlled substances, prosecutors are usually very vigorous when pursuing a conviction even when evidence can be questioned. What this combination of factors means is that it is always a good decision to retain a criminal defense attorney even when the state actually has a good case, and especially when they do not.
DUI Impact on Life
Many people would have no criminal history if they hadn’t received an impaired driving conviction, including multiple offenders. Many of those individuals also faced the first offense without the advantage of having an experienced DUI attorney to build an argument on behalf of the defendant that could result in a reduced charge or even a dismissal in certain instances. A conviction for driving under the influence can prohibit gainful employment from certain employers as well as be a reason for public housing denial. And with a DUI conviction, the record stays in place for at least seven years because subsequent charges for intoxicated driving will be charged as a multiple enhanced offense. Retaining an attorney to defend against even a first minimal charge is very important, and it is actually an investment in your future as well as your freedom and good name.
Case Facts Matter When Defending a Charge
Impaired driving charges are serious business for all prosecutors, as many states have tied their hands in terms of ability to negotiate a case. What this means is that the facts that are being used as the basis for the charge become very important because inadmissible evidence can be addressed by a criminal defense attorney. There is an unwritten rule for criminal defense attorneys. When the facts are against the defendant, utilize the law. When the law is against the defendant, utilize the facts. Officers can be questioned and evidence can be evaluated for validity, especially in a DUI case that does not involve alcohol intoxication levels. Unless there is a blood test record, there is no statute regarding any other scheduled drug concentration because there is no approved device for unwarranted intoxication measurement. Blood tests require a warrant. The fact that chemicals may be present in the blood stream does not mean the defendant was impaired, but a typical defendant would have a hard time arguing this point without professional legal counsel who can investigate and move for dismissal. Officer testimony is very important in non-alcohol cases and an aggressive DUI attorney can investigate the case while questioning the officer before a case even goes to court. Many times charges are weak, especially in DUI cases based on blood alcohol concentration, as the legal limit nationally is .08 BAC. Many times cases with this minimal BAC involved can be reduced to reckless driving in most states. It is not considered a criminal driving record and rarely carries a license suspension. The facts matter, and an experienced lawyer knows that.
One of the worst components of a DUI conviction is the actual sentencing phase and completing the penalties. They always include drunk driver education for every convicted defendant, but multiple offenders will be enrolled for a complete year at least and are responsible for all associated school fees. Most classes are held weekly, which can hamper personal or family schedules. Of course, there are also fines that usually range between $500-$1,500 depending on the facts of the charge, such as an aggravated DUI charge or being involved in an accident. And, multiple defenders can expect higher fines in every situation, along with any other charge fines being compounded. Jail sentences range from none for the first conviction to up to five years for a felony offense. Very serious cases that involve fatal accidents can result in vehicular homicide or manslaughter charges stemming the use of alcohol, which carry greater sentences. Having a comprehensive criminal defense attorney can help at every legal juncture of defending a DUI charge and help lessen the damage resulting from punishment.
Avoid a Public Defender
Many individuals who have been punished severely for a DUI were represented by a public defender. This never bodes well for a defendant, as the public defender works daily with the prosecution if they are from a designated public advocacy office. The same state that is prosecuting the charge is also the employer of the defense attorney. In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court requires that all individuals charged with a crime that can result in incarceration have “competent” representation, which is a loose term at best. The careers of public defenders are largely determined by relationships within the prosecution department of the court and are they often more concerned with delivering a conviction than achieving a case dismissal or charge reduction. It is always the best decision to retain a personal attorney who will put the defendant first regardless of the court while defending the rights of the accused client.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
The most important aspect of legal representation is how strong a lawyer defends all of the legal rights of the defendant. The state is not entitled to a criminal conviction, even though that is how many prosecutors and public defendants act, and the burden of the proof is assigned to the state throughout the case. All defendants have the right to have each article of evidence evaluated for legal search and seizure, proper warrants when a blood test is ordered, and accurate operating condition of any device used to measure blood alcohol, such as a breathalyzer. All evidence must be acquired within the protocol allowed by the U.S. Constitution, especially with respect to legal search. Prosecutors also do not like to take cases to a full trial, but a trial is a legal right of all defendants and the best attorney is the one who is willing to take a case to trial if the prosecutor is being unreasonable about overstated charges.
DUI Under the Influence Drugs
These cases can be some of the most complicated charges filed for impaired driving, especially when the defendant has a verifiable script for a medication that is used on a regular basis for a chronic pain or mental issue. The substance will appear in the body in some amount at all times, and there is no way to measure the latency in most cases. The issue with the charge then becomes material facts of what actually happened along with the testimony of the officer, who can be interviewed or cross-examined by a DUI attorney.
Going to Trial
Not all DUI cases will go to trial because many times the evidence is overwhelming against the defendant. But, borderline cases or cases where a technicality could relieve an impaired driver of responsibility in another factor can be exposed in court by an experienced criminal trial attorney. Serious injury cases where the charged driver was barely within the range of being legally drunk can end up in a trial because the issue of actual impairment can be argued in some instances when prosecutors are being difficult in a settlement negotiation. It is important to remember that all DUI cases are not equal, and technicalities matter greatly because they can impact the lives of everyone involved, including families.
Free DUI Case Evaluation
If you have recently been charged for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you should contact a local DUI lawyer immediately. It’s time for you to take stock of your options and form a tight defense against the charges you will be facing. If you believe that you were wrongly arrested, now is the time to let your DUI lawyer know. They can help you compile the necessary evidence and testimony that will help you prove your case. It’s an excellent idea to arrange for a free DUI case evaluation so that you can get a feel for whether a particular attorney is right for your needs.
If You Are Arrested for DUI, You May Have to Face Two Separate Trials
One of the least well understood details about being charged with DUI is the fact that you may well have to face not one, but two completely separate trials. Both of these trials could result in separate judgments, along with separate penalties that may range from mild to severe. The first trial will be in regard to the criminal charges associated with your DUI arrest. Depending on the outcome of the trial, the charges against you may be reduced or dropped or you may face a number of penalties, including heavy fines and even time spent in prison.
Is There a Chance That You Could Permanently Lose Your License?
The second trial will be an administrative hearing that determines whether your license will be suspended or revoked. Depending on whether or not you are found guilty in your criminal trial, your license may be suspended for the length of time that is specified under the laws of your state. If this is not your first offense, but your second or third, your license can be suspended for a much longer length of time or even revoked permanently.
You May Be Able to Prove that There Was No Probable Cause
A local DUI lawyer may be able to prove to a judge and jury that there was no probable cause for you to be pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence. There are a number of important criteria that constitute probable cause, such as weaving between lanes, driving too slow or too fast, running red lights, or driving with your headlights off at night. If a DUI lawyer can prove that none of these conditions applied during the time you were pulled over, the charges against you may well be dropped.
Are There Any Legitimate Reasons Why You May Fail a Breathalyzer Test?
A local DUI lawyer may be able to help you make – and win – a case for your breathalyzer test being faulty for any number of reasons. Breathalyzer units are just as susceptible as any other technology to a number of malfunctions, including false readings. In this case, the point is to prove or at least establish strong evidence for this being the reason that you failed this test. You may not be able to prove that the breathalyzer unit itself was faulty, but you have more than a fair chance of proving that the conditions the test was administered under were less than ideal.
You Can Have Alcohol on Your Breath for Many Reasons
There are many reasons why a person can have alcohol on their breath that absolutely do not involve imbibing it for recreational purposes. For example, you may have residual alcohol on your breath as a result of a visit to your doctor or dentist. You may even have it on your breath due to a number of physical conditions, such as heartburn or acid reflux disease. In some cases, a person burping just before they took the breathalyzer test led to a positive reading for alcohol content. A DUI lawyer can prove to a jury that you may have tested positive for one of these reasons, rather than driving under the influence.
Your DUI Stop May Be Due to Simple Police Misconduct
Your DUI stop may also be due to one of the least talked about causes, simple misconduct on the part of the police officer that pulled you over. The misconduct involved may take any number of forms, with the common denominator being illegal activity on the part of the office that led up to your completely unjustified arrest. If a jury finds that police misconduct was the reason you were pulled over and arrested, they will have no choice but to drop the charges and dismiss the case – even if it turns out you really were guilty of driving under the influence.
It’s Never a Good Idea to Try to Represent Yourself in Court
The first thing you should realize when facing charges of this magnitude is that it is never a good idea to attempt to represent your own case in court. The prosecutor in your case will be a skilled professional who will have all the evidence at their disposal. They may use all manner of tricks of the legal trade in order to try to get you to contradict your story or trap you into making an accidental confession. Your best bet is to hire a professional DUI lawyer who can do most of the talking for you, as well as to present all the evidence in your favor in a convincing manner.
What Can a DUI Arrest Evaluation Do to Help You?
It’s an excellent idea to arrange for a free DUI arrest evaluation with a qualified legal specialist. Your DUI lawyer can examine the evidence concerning your traffic stop, field test, and subsequent arrest. By checking the evidence of your arrest, they can determine whether or not they believe the case against you is legitimate. If there were any irregularities or flagrantly illegal actions committed during your arrest, your DUI lawyer can move to get the charges dropped and the case against you dismissed.
Can You Beat Your DUI Case By Having It Evaluated?
A free DUI case evaluation could help you prevail in court against your accusers. You need to know just how strong or weak of a case you may have. If there is any way to shore up a weak defense, your lawyer will know where to find it. Even if the most that can be done is to aim for a reduction of the charges, this is still better than facing the full weight of the original penalties. A professional DUI trial lawyer will know how to poke holes in the prosecutor’s case and paint your character in the best possible light.
You Can Arrange for a DUI Case Evaluation With a Lawyer Today
It’s very important to contact a lawyer for a DUI arrest evaluation as soon as possible. This is not an area where you can afford to wait. The longer you do, the less chance you will have of beating the case. If the evidence is piling up against you, you will need a qualified legal professional to examine it and point out any flaws or inconsistencies that may exist. Meanwhile, you will need to confer with an attorney in order to build up a solid case that you can go to court with. You will not be able to do so until you receive legal advice and counsel from an attorney who is experienced in DUI cases.
Feel Free to Contact Us For More Information
We are ready to assist you with any questions, comments, or concerns you may have regarding your upcoming DUI trial. Please feel free to contact us today in order to arrange for a free consultation. We will be happy to review your case and give you an honest and impartial opinion. If you are ready to beat your case, we are ready to fight for you.
Cost A DUI Lawyer
If you were recently arrested for DUI, you may be asking the question, “How much to hire a DUI lawyer?” The average DUI lawyer cost will depend on a number of factors and will not necessarily be the same standardized fee as would be the case for other offenses. This is an area of legal defense where there are no hard and fast rules. It’s an excellent idea to arrange for a free consultation with a DUI lawyer so that they can review your case and give you a reasonable idea of what the charges for your defense may entail.
Don’t Try to Represent Yourself in Court Without a DUI Lawyer
The main thing you need to keep in mind is that it is a bad idea to try to represent your own case in court without the assistance of a DUI lawyer. The prosecutor in your case will do everything in their power to try to get you to contradict or even perjure yourself so that your credibility will be ruined. You will need a professional legal expert to gather up all of the evidence so that they can present your case in the best possible light. This is something that is best left to a legal expert, not a layman like yourself. You will need a DUI lawyer if you want to get the charges reduced or dropped.
Most DUI Lawyers Will Not Accept Cases on a Contingency Basis
The first thing you should know is that most DUI lawyers will not accept cases on a contingent basis. This is an area where serious criminal charges are involved, as opposed to other types of cases, such as personal injury, where the amount you pay will be based on the settlement you receive. In the case of a DUI, there is no settlement to be had. You are trying your best to avoid paying money to the state rather than hoping to receive any. The strategy here will be to reduce the amount of the fines you are penalized with and to reduce or avoid any time spent in prison.
How Much Will it Cost to Hire a DUI Lawyer for Your Case?
When it comes to calculating the total amount of your DUI attorney fees, there are two basic payment structures. Depending on who you decide to hire, the average cost of DUI lawyer representation will be different. However, in most cases, the structure of your payments will be either hourly or flat rate. In an hourly arrangement, the services you receive from your DUI lawyer will be billed for a specified rate per hour. The main advantage here is that you won’t be overcharged if your case is wrapped up quickly, since the DUI lawyer cost only covers the amount of time they actually represented you.
Paying Your DUI Lawyer a Flat Rate May Save You Money
You may also choose to go with a DUI lawyer who will charge you using a flat rate system. In this case, the lawyer who handles your case will first quote you a flat fee that will cover the entire time that they devote to representing your case in court. You can then agree to the fee and give your case to that lawyer or move on to a different attorney. In some cases, you may actually spend less money hiring a flat fee lawyer because you may be able to receive bulk time discounts that would not be possible if you were paying your lawyer by means of a strict hourly rate.
Your DUI Lawyer Cost May Vary According to the Goal You Set
The ultimate cost of the DUI lawyer you hire may also vary according to the specific goal you agree on. For example, if you feel that the most you can hope for is a plea bargain that may reduce your fees and help you avoid jail time, your case will probably be resolved in a relatively short period of time. This will mean that the amount of time and energy your DUI lawyer spends on your case will be much less than if you fought every charge until the bitter end. If you’re only shooting for a relatively painless plea bargain, your ultimate fee will be much lower.
If You Opt for a Trial, Your Ultimate Fee Will Likely Be Higher
On the other hand, if you reject the idea of plea bargaining, this means that you will have to face the full extent of your DUI charges in a court of law. If this is the case, your DUI lawyer will quote you a “trial fee” that you are free to agree on paying or reject. Keep in mind that this trial fee will be significantly higher than the amount you would pay for a plea bargain. This is because the amount of work involved in preparing the evidence for the case, arguing your case in court, and haggling for a fair settlement will be much higher than if they were simply shopping for a plea bargain deal.
The Complexity of Your Case May Affect How Much it Will Ultimately Cost
Another factor that is sure to influence the ultimate amount you owe to your DUI lawyer will be the complexity of your case. If your case is nothing more than a straightforward first offense with no complications, it will very likely be resolved quickly, resulting in a much lower fee. This is especially likely if you intend to plea bargain the case down to a quick fine and a few hours spent in DUI education classes. Since your lawyer will not have to work quite as long or as hard, you should expect to be finished with the case relatively soon. This will be a relative financial bonanza for your budget.
If a Plea Bargain Can’t Be Had, You Will Have to Go to Trial
However, if there were complications, such as injuries or even fatalities that resulted from your actions, you will most likely not be able to plea bargain the case away. If you are involved in a case where being found guilty will result in serious consequences, such as the loss of your driver’s license, heavy fines, and time spent in prison, your DUI lawyer will have to work much harder to get a better verdict on your behalf. This will naturally mean that you will owe your DUI attorney a much higher fee after the case is finally resolved.
You’ll Need to Arrange for a Free Consultation to Learn More
Your best bet is to arrange for a free consultation in order to learn more about your chances for success in court and also to learn how much your DUI defense will cost you in the end. Now is the time to get straight answers regarding the strength or weakness of your case and what kind of outcome you can reasonably expect. It’s also the time when you can receive accurate and trustworthy advice regarding just how much the cost of hiring a professional DUI will run you. A free consultation with a DUI lawyer will also give you a much better feel concerning whether or not you wish to hire this particular individual.
Hiring a DUI Lawyer Is Always Worth It in the Long Run
While you may feel that you are paying quite a lot of money to your DUI attorney, it’s best to keep in mind at all times what you are paying them for. If your lawyer can succeed in getting the charges significantly reduced or completely dropped, this is a victory that will save you a great deal of time, effort, and worry. Avoiding time spent in prison is a victory that ought to be worth the fair amount your DUI lawyer will charge.
Charged With a County DUI?
Being charged with a DUI can one of the most serious and consequential experiences of a person’s life. A person may be thrown in jail, lose their driver’s license, or walk away with a felony conviction that follows them for the rest of their life. If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime related to driving under the influence, it is important to consult with an experienced and local DUI lawyer immediately to begin building a case.
Why Choose a Local Lawyer?
Regardless of the type of county DUI charges you are facing, there are several benefits to using a local lawyer who specializes in fighting driving under the influence charges and related cases. These benefits include:
- Familiarity with local judges and district attorneys. The individual personalities and preferences of local officials will have a huge effect on your case.
- Knowledge of what arguments and defenses have worked with local courts in the past.
- Ability to offer free DUI legal advice and consultations to people in your area.
- The ability to find loopholes and technicalities in your case that can lead to charges being lessened or completely dismissed.
- Familiarity with subpoenas and other ways to gather information for a defense.
- Attorney-client privilege allows you to be completely honest with your lawyer without them repeating or reporting what you say, giving you a safe and confidential space to discuss your case.
- Availability, as local lawyers can be contacted at a wide range of hours and through a wide variety of means.
These factors will make it easier for you to successfully fight your future in DUI trials and other hearings. Many local lawyers also offer a free consultation to people who have been accused of crimes such as DUI. At this consultation, you can get free DUI legal advice about fighting state and county DUI charges. A free consutaion DUI will allow you to begin building a defense that will help you to move on with your life. There is no cost or risk for finding out if a local DUI attorney is the right one for your case.
Do DUI Charges Vary From County to County?
Most laws regarding driving under the influence are made at the state and federal level. However, county DUI law also can affect your case in several ways. In addition to being charged with a crime, you may have to fight a DUI desk ticket in county courts and have hearings with the local department of motor vehicles.
Do DUI charges vary from county to county? Counties have to abide by state and federal laws. However, they are allowed to add their own charges and punishments. Some counties treat DUIs more harshly than other counties, even neighboring ones in the same state. They may add county DUI charges that increase your fines or jail time. They may have laws that allow them to take away your license or force you into education programs on top of the DUI sentence you face for driving under the influence. However, some counties also have laws allowing the courts to be more lenient with offenders. They may have special programs for people who drive under the influence that allow them to stay out of jail and avoid a lifelong criminal record.
If you have been charged with a DUI desk ticket in county courts or any other consequences for driving under the influence, it is important to get a lawyer who specializes in fighting these types of charges in your area. A local lawyer will know what your options are and how to fight on your behalf. There may even be a free consutaion DUI lawyer who can talk to you about your case with no money paid upfront. Getting the right legal assistance can make the difference between being found innocent and services years in jail.
The Consequences of a County DUI
Many defendants do not realize until too late that a DUI charge has the potential to affect the rest of their life. DUI charges are very serious and can have consequences including:
- Time spent in jail or prison for a DUI sentence
- Devastating fines
- Suspension of your drivers’ license, including commercial licenses if you have these
- Hours of volunteer community service
- Completion of DUI education classes
- Drug or alcohol rehabilitation
- Private lawsuits if there were damages or injuries
- A lifelong criminal record that can keep you from getting a job or license later
- Family consequences such as divorce or loss of child custody
- Public shame
While driving under the influence is a mistake and a crime, the consequences often far outweigh the damages. These charges can destroy a person’s life, even on the first offense. If this is the second offense or the person already has a driving or DUI record, the courts are even more likely to hand down extreme consequences. A person facing these charges needs help. All people deserve a second chance. An experienced lawyer can give a consultation, help build a defense, and even refer you to free DUI legal services if you qualify.
What to Do If You Are Arrested
Being arrested for DUI charges is one of the most frightening experiences of a person’s life. Despite this, it is important to be level-headed and to act in ways that will positively affect your future case in DUI courts. First, do not give information to police. You are allowed to remain silent even if they continue to question you after you have said you will not answer questions. Be as cooperative and respectful as you can be without giving them information.
Second, call a local lawyer who offers DUI help and defense. You should call the lawyer before you call family or even call for a ride. A lawyer may be able to help you get out of jail more quickly, with lower bail, or even get the charges dropped before you face DUI trials or other hearings. You can ask about affordable or free DUI legal services in jail or have a relative look this up for you.
Third, cooperate with your lawyer and follow their advice. They know how best to approach your case. It is important to cooperate fully with your attorney and legal team so you can more quickly move on with your life.
How Can I Avoid Jail After 2 DUI Charges? Questions to Ask Your Lawyer
A local lawyer who specializes in DUI will be able to answer a variety of questions for you. These include:
- Are there any ways I can get the charges dismissed?
- What are the typical consequences for people with charges and records similar to mine?
- Do I need to file paperwork with the local DMV or other agencies? Do I need to notify my job?
- How can I avoid jail after 2 DUI charges (or more)?
- How can I reduce the impact of these charges on my family and my future?
Your lawyer should be able to answer these questions and give you the DUI help you need to successfully fight your case.
A DUI is a mistake, with consequences that unfortunately can change your entire life. A DUI lawyer is your best friend when you get arrested for driving under the influence or a related charge. They can help you to defend yourself effectively, beat your charges, and get back to your regular life. No one deserves to have their life destroyed by a single mistake. Get an experienced DUI lawyer who can help you get the second chance that you deserve.