Is an attorney worth it for a DUI case?
Will I pay an attorney and end up losing or paying more anyway?
Is an attorney worth it in a DUI case? The short story is this: In almost all situations in life, you will have better results when a professional handles your matter for you.
The reasons why are as follows:
- A professional knows, from experience alone, what works and what doesn’t towards getting the result you want. If you were unfortunate to have 100 DUI cases, for example, (please don’t), you might start to see a pattern just from being exposed to that situation again and again. You might notice that one judge grants dismissal motions for certain reasons, while another grants dismissal motions for entirely different reasons. You might notice that certain types of evidence being presented is taken more seriously than others. Your DUI attorney, in addition to seeing the same types of cases in front of the same people in the same court over and over again, has specific education and training in breath and blood testing, the law and science of DUI cases, and in handling one type of case. That will get better results even for attorneys that don’t catch on quickly.
- Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should. This is true whether it’s fixing your own brakes, doing your own tax audit against the IRS, or doing your own surgery. It may be technically possible for you to “DIY” much in life, but even then, you will generally take more time, spend more money, and end up with a result not as good as if you You shouldn’t believe that a conviction will always happen, because there are many options you can win.
- You may pay even less if you have an attorney. In certain courts, and with certain judges, the court can allow a suspension of fees for those experiencing financial hardships. Given the cost of a DUI case, which can be over 15,000 dollars, saving fees can help you. In addition, if your attorney gets your case reduced to a lower charge, like an infraction, or a reckless driving with alcohol (wet reckless), that could save you several thousands as well in fees, fines, insurance, and alcohol school. Again, statistically, most people that have an attorney end up better off than those that do not.
- Having an attorney means having an advocate to argue for your position. When the stakes are high, getting an attorney is even more helpful – in fact, the higher the punishment, the more you should hire an attorney to help you. Another way to say this is that you should weight the cost of an attorney vs. what it would get you – and in the great majority of cases, an attorney can get you much better results than you can get on your own. Drunk driving cases are complicated, but not impossible to win. But when you have a second, or third time, DUI, and you are looking at mandatory jail time, huge fines, and a lengthy alcohol school, you
- You may not know all the ways to win your case. Because DUI cases are criminal defense matters, you need an attorney familiar with criminal law, and your rights under the Constitution, including unreasonable searches and seizures. First, an attorney must review whether the police had a right to stop you under the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, and California Law. Next, the police must prove that they had probable cause to believe that you were operating under the influence of alcohol, or drugs. Finally, they have to prove that the breathalyzer was in proper working order, maintained and calibrated according to law, that the test was given by a properly trained officer, and that you took two tests within 15 minutes of each other, that were within .01 of each other, and were within 3 hours of your driving. As you can see, this is complicated – which leaves many defenses based upon specific facts, or specific legal defenses. An attorney can help empower you and help you make decisions using all the defenses available in your case, including some that you may not even be aware of.
- You may not have time to spend fighting your case. Aside from waiting in court, which can be a day long event for each court appearance, and dealing with the DMV, a DUI defense attorney with experience will leave no fact unexamined, and will do a full factual and legal review of each of your defenses. You may not have the time or the inclination to do justice to your legal matter. But an attorney dedicated to your case will.
- You only get one chance to make a decision. Although you can switch lawyers any time during your case, once your case is finished, it is finished. It is difficult to go back in time and see what your result would have been if you had a lawyer. Contrast that to just pleading guilty, which can happen very quickly. If you do that, the effects on your life from having a criminal conviction, having your license suspended, and suffering classes, insurance increases, and other costs, will continue for years, sometimes for life. You may always wonder what would have happened had you hired a good attorney to protect you.
Is an attorney worth it in a DUI case? Find out if you can benefit from working with a DUI Lawyer.
Contact us today. You can call us at (877) 942-3090, or use our Contact the Firm page for a FREE evaluation of your DUI matter, or use our free case evaluation form to have your DUI case evaluated by a professional