Many DUI offenders ask why they should be represented by a DUI lawyer and not just hire a lawyer who specializes in another field. Because of their expertise and knowledge of DUI laws, DUI lawyers are highly paid, but offenders ask whether what they get is worth the money. Depending on the offence, the driver may be charged with felony, misdemeanor, or end up having a criminal record. The penalties may be severe, including probation, fines, jail, driverís license suspension, job loss, and difficulty obtaining or paying oneís car insurance. This is why it is important to have a professional handling a DUI case.
DUI lawyers have knowledge of the intricacies and nuances of drunken driving laws. Moreover, many DUI cases are overwhelming and complicated if handled by a lawyer who specializes in other types of cases. Regarding the procedural aspect, it covers the procedure and rules of evidence governing the mechanics of defending DUI offenders. These may include filing motions, answers, pleadings, and other documents. DUI lawyers are also tasked with collecting evidence on the case, as to work out the best defense possible. The defense strategy takes the clientís particular circumstances into consideration up to the arrest.
DUI lawyers make sure officers have treated their clients in compliance with the law. For example, leaving a bar and entering oneís car is not a cause to arrest someone. If the officer notices erratic driving, however, this is a sufficient cause to pull the car over. DUI lawyers also have knowledge of urine and blood tests and field sobriety, which may prove critical depending on the case. A good attorney will look for weaknesses in the administration, subjectivity, and timing of the tests.
Generally, it is the job of DUI lawyers to get a reduced penalty for their clients so that they reduce the time during which their driverís license is suspended. In case of conviction, the task of the DUI lawyer is to make it as minimal as possible.
When choosing a DUI lawyer, there are some issues to consider. First, can you afford to pay them or you should look into hiring a general practitioner or a public defender? Top lawyers will most likely have a large caseload to handle. Then, hiring a discount lawyer is an option, but they take on a variety of cases and may lack experience and training as to handle your DUI case.
If you want to hire a DUI lawyer, it pays to check their win/ loss percentage and the number of cases that made it to court. It may be that only 10 percent of all cases make it to court while the others are plea-bargained. Good DUI lawyers use their negotiation skills as to enter into a good plea bargain. They also stay up-to-date regarding the latest DUI regulations and laws and attend training seminars. One way to find a good DUI lawyer is to ask friends and family for referrals. Referrals help clients trust the lawyer mainly because they trust the person who referred them.
If you cannot afford to hire a DUI lawyer, you may want to use the services of a public defender. Public defenders have more experience in the courtroom than general practitioners. They handle a large caseload and have extensive experience dealing with prosecutors, judges, and other professionals involved in DUI cases. Given that public defenders deal with prosecutors on a daily basis, they have good negotiation skills. Their fees will be higher than those of a general practitioner or a discount lawyer but lower than the fees charged by a DUI lawyer.