If you’ve been charged with a DUI, it is strongly advised that you hire a defense attorney who specializes in DUI and drunk driving cases. Those who hire a private defense attorney see a higher chance of receiving favorable outcomes for their cases, which is significant when facing hefty fines and potential mandatory jail time. Additionally, the legal process following a DUI arrest can be an arduous journey to navigate, and many prefer having a defense attorney to represent them and guide them through the it. Those who are unfamiliar with the full scope of the DUI legal process often wonder what exactly a defense attorney does for a DUI case. The following explains some of a
defense attorney’s work when representing a client.
1. Initially, they sit down with you for a consultation to understand your case and explain the process to you. To begin, you will have a consultation with the attorney. The purpose of this consultation is for the attorney to understand your case and explain what will happen next. These consultations are almost always offered for free by reputable defense attorneys (or, if not, for a small and very worthwhile fee), so you will get a sense for potential legal solutions immediately. This process is often quite relieving for many, because facing their charges can be intimidating. The attorney will walk you through the process, and you will have a chance to ask questions about their past experiences. It is strongly recommended to work with an attorney who specializes in criminal defense and drunk driving cases, especially if they have many years of experience. While it may be a significant investment, an experienced defense attorney can spell the difference between a good or potentially devastating outcome.
2. They help you gather evidence, police reports, and more to build a case in your defense. When you decide to work with a defense attorney, their central job is building a case to defend you. To do this, they will go through all relevant evidence, witness testimonies,
and police documents, which will be provided to them by the prosecutors. The strongest defense attorneys look for weaknesses or blind spots in the prosecution’s case and poke holes in the evidence they have against you. They will keep you up to date on their
investigations. Criminal defense attorneys are highly recommended because they have significant experience defending their clients in these courtrooms. As a result, an experienced defense attorney knows how the pre-trial conferences and negotiations typically go and
has likely achieved favorable outcomes for many past clients. They know how to lessen the credibility of the evidence against you. This discernment is only achieved after years of legal experience.
3. They will advise you through the pre-trial conferences and plea bargain offering. A defense attorney will also advise and consult with you in advance of your pre-trial conferences. After reviewing all relevant information to the case, they will be able to give you an estimate of the sentencing expectations for a number of scenarios and update you on their own investigations. From here, you will decide what you want to do to move forward. At the initial pre-trial conferences, your attorney will ask for a continuance as they wait for evidence or conduct their own investigation. Then, the prosecutors will offer a plea bargain based on negotiations. Your attorney will help you to understand the pros and cons of either accepting the plea bargain or moving to a trial. An experienced attorney has a better grip on the probabilities of different sentences (for jail time and fines) if you move forward with a trial. Discerning the different probabilities is critical in making a decision of whether or not to take the plea bargain. Ultimately, a defense attorney will help you understand all legal paths ahead of you, including the advantages and disadvantages of each. This is yet another reason why having an experienced DUI defense attorney is critical: their understanding of all potential scenarios is backed by years of experience in the courtroom, so you know their recommendations are closely on par with what will end up happening.
4. They can represent you at your DMV hearing. A DMV hearing can be one of the first legal processes to happen after a DUI arrest. If you took a breath test or refused chemical testing, you will have seven days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing. If you chose to do a blood test, you will have seven days from the date that you receive a letter from the DMV to request one. At a DMV hearing, your attorney will represent you against the evidence that is brought against you. The hearing seeks to answer the following questions:
Was there reasonable suspicion to pull you over?
Was there probable cause to arrest you for a DUI?
Did you refuse a chemical test, or did your blood or chemical breath test result in a BAC of 0.08 or higher?
Once again, their job is to lessen the credibility of the evidence, with the intention of gaining back your license or shortening the revocation period. If the answer to all three of these questions is “yes,” the revocation against your license will be sustained. The DMV hearing is often very important to those who need to drive to work, to transport their children, and who don’t have access to alternate transportation, as a license revocation can last up to a year for just a first offense.
Even in the face of mounting evidence against you, a swift criminal defense attorney can achieve a more favorable outcome for you, in addition to providing one-on-one support and consultation throughout the entire legal process. It is widely agreed that hiring a private defense attorney provides the best chance for a lesser sentence, even in first-time offender cases. When facing a license revocation, hefty fines, and even jail time, having a highly experienced criminal defense attorney representing you at the pre-trial conferences and DMV hearing can alleviate worry and lead to better case outcomes.