Being charged with driving under the influence, or a DUI, is often an embarrassing and humbling experience. You get arrested, fingerprinted and photographed, and spend several hours in jail. But, once that ordeal is over, you still have to deal with the charges and any consequences from those charges. It is then that you may begin to wonder whether or not you really need to hire a DUI lawyer
to help you with these charges. This is a tough dilemma for many people, especially first time offenders who commonly are not subjected to the same stiff penalties as those who have already been convicted of one or more DUIs. Learning about the advantages and disadvantages of a hiring a DUI lawyer to help you with your case will help you decide whether you should hire one or whether doing without one is right for you. Here are some of those advantages and disadvantages.
Disadvantages of Hiring a DUI Lawyer:
The Cost Associated With Hiring a Lawyer-
The main disadvantage to hiring a lawyer is the cost associated with hiring a lawyer. Hiring a lawyer for a driving under the influence charge is much more expensive than not hiring a lawyer. However, that is not to say that it is not worth the money. For some people, a lawyer is well worth the money. For other people though, they simply don't have the money to hire or pay for a lawyer. Ultimately, you have to decide whether you can afford a lawyer and whether or not you think they are worth the money based on the charges and consequences you are facing.
There is No Guarantee a Lawyer Can Get You Out of Charges or Get You a Lesser Penalty-
The other downside to hiring a lawyer is that there is no guarantee that they can get you out of charges or get you a lesser penalty than what you would have gotten on your own. While attorneys have a higher percentage of getting charges reduced and dismissed than those who represent themselves, they can't guarantee that they will be able to do that for you, as they are not able to with every single case. As such, there is a chance that the outcome of your case will still be the same, regardless of whether you use a lawyer or not.
Advantages of Hiring a DUI Lawyer:
A Lawyer Knows What Your Rights Are-
When you are pulled over and arrested for a DUI, you were entitled to certain rights under the constitution and per state law. The officer had to have had a legal reason to pull you over, they are legally required to test your blood alcohol level with working and properly calibrated instruments and you must be read your rights. If any of the above did not happen, the charges against you will be dropped. Unfortunately, most of us don't know what our rights are, or how to go about getting charges dismissed because our rights were violated or laws were broken. A lawyer can help you with this.
They Are More Likely to Get Your Charges Reduced or Dismissed-
While a DUI attorney cannot guarantee that they will be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed, they are more likely to make that happen than if you were to represent yourself. This is a very important advantage, as many people don't realize all of the consequences associated with a DUI. If you are convicted of a DUI, you will then have a criminal record. That record can prevent you from being able to get a job or live in certain communities. If you are convicted of a DUI, your driving license will be suspended, even for a first offense. And if you are convicted of a DUI, you will face fines, community service and a significantly higher car insurance policy amount. Being convicted of a DUI has many consequences. Increasing your odds that you will not be convicted by using a lawyer is extremely beneficial.