What does a DUI lawyer do and why do you need one? Every state considers driving under the influence (alcohol, drugs) a crime – with the possibility of serious charges being brought against you, resulting in a criminal record.
A DUI charge is handled in a court of criminal law. You have the right to either represent yourself, accept the services of a public defender who is appointed by the court or hire a private DUI lawyer.
If you have no experience with this type of charge, you may not be aware of just how serious it can be. The laws regarding DUIs are complicated and change frequently, and as every case is unique, the advice of an experienced DUI lawyer can be very beneficial to you.
An experienced DUI lawyer can oftentimes get your charges reduced by negotiating with the prosecutor. There may be mitigating circumstances and other factors that could result in the charges being reduced, such as to a non-moving violation. In a case where you have a viable defense, this may not be necessary, but in any case, an unrepresented defendant will most likely not know this. Before going it alone, and before you accept a plea deal or the prosecutor’s recommendation, you should speak with an attorney to find out what all your options are.
By hiring a private DUI lawyer you can minimize time spent in court as your lawyer will appear in your behalf for routine proceedings. For many people taking off work to appear in court can be a problem so leaving it to your attorney is a definite plus.
In the event your case cannot be negotiated down to a lesser charge and you end up having to take the case to trial, then imperative that you retain an experienced and competent DUI lawyer to handle the process. While you are entitled to represent yourself at trial, your lack legal knowledge and acceptable trial skills can put you at a severe disadvantage. Judges don’t usually have much patience for self-represented defendants who don’t know the rules of court. If you’re going to trial, you should have a DUI lawyer.
Most attorneys offer free initial consultations, so it could cost you nothing to speak with a lawyer and get his opinion. While you don’t have to hire an attorney, meeting with one, in person, is a good opportunity to help you make a decision about whether or not you should get representation, and find out what could happen if you don’t hire a DUI lawyer to assist you with your case.
You should meet with your DUI lawyer as early in the process as possible, and go to your initial consultation fully prepared. Take a copy of the police report and any other case documents you have received. You may want to make a list of questions and other concerns you may have that a DUI lawyer will be able to answer for you.
Having an attorney to represent you can lead to a better overall outcome. Attorneys who specialize in DUI cases have a thorough knowledge of DUI laws and defenses that other attorneys, such as a public defender or family law attorney, don’t have. Their expertise can lead to a better plea bargain or a shorter license-suspension period of time, or even a dismissal of the charges altogether.
Craig Divine is an experienced and competent DUI lawyer in Kansas City who is fully capable of obtaining the best possible outcome of your case. He will explain in detail every step of the process and answer all your questions. His knowledge becomes your knowledge – call today to schedule a free consultation. (816) 474-2240.