In the US, it is considered a felony driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI, driving under the influence ). That is why the charges for this crime are brought to a criminal court. You have the right to represent yourself in this court. However, in most cases, defendants hire a private attorney or use a court-appointed public defender.
Getting An Attorney’s Opinion On Your Case
When a serious offense is committed, such as the one established for driving under the influence (DUI) cases, it is difficult to get good advice from someone without experience or legal training to allow you to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the case. . For DUI cases, the law is constantly changing and can be challenging to understand. Therefore, always seek the opinion of an experienced DUI attorney.
Many experienced DUI attorneys give potential clients the first consultation free of charge. But we suggest that even if you have to pay for something, feel free to do so, as it is likely to be a good investment for you. Take the police report with you to that first consultation and any other document you have about the case to better take advantage of the time of counseling with the lawyer. It is also vital that you carry with you complete a list as possible of any doubts you may have. Remember that it is not mandatory to hire the lawyer you consulted. However, meeting him in person can be very helpful to you in evaluating whether working with him will work.
Cases Where Hiring An Attorney May Not Be Necessary
There are cases in which it may not be necessary to hire an attorney. For example, prosecutors present first-time offenders with a standard offer. In other words, everyone first cited for this offense is offered the same settlement as standard, which is typically at the lower end of the first admissible DUI sentence. You need to know that one is considered a first-time offender charged with a DUI and has no prior convictions for this same crime as long as the offense does not involve aggravating factors such as injury or an exceptionally high concentration of alcohol in the blood.
In these cases, at least in theory, the standard offer is always the same. This does not depend on whether or not an attorney represents the defendant, be it public, private, or neither. Therefore, in first offense DUI cases, as long as there are no aggravations, hiring an attorney may not be necessary. However, in practice, keep in mind that the standard offering is usually just a starting point.
Also, consider that accepting a standard offer may be inadvisable in cases where the defendant has defenses that may be viable. This will not be able to be known unless the defendant has the advice of an attorney with experience in the area. Therefore, it is essential that you at least have legal advice before agreeing to a plea agreement.
The practice in the United States is that every defendant has the right to a defense. In case of not being able to afford a lawyer, the defendant will have access to one assigned to him by the court. These appointed attorneys generally work in the office of a public defender.
Public defenders handle a large number of criminal offenses, including DUIs. They are attorneys familiar with the laws and procedures for DUI defenses who are generally well acquainted with district attorneys and judges and familiar with their tendencies. Also, public defenders tend to have good trial skills because they take many cases to trial. This knowledge can be beneficial in negotiating a guilty plea.