We all make mistakes. But some mistakes are worse than others. Court costs, fines, loss of work, jail time, loss of driving privileges- these are just some of the things you’ll face if you have a DWI conviction.
But an experienced DWI attorney can improve your situation. They’ll use their expertise and will advise you on your options, along with the best choice for you.
Read on to learn why you should consider hiring a DWI attorney.
Now What? Your First Course of Action
“I just got a DWI. What should I do?”
First, take a deep breath.
Sure. this isn’t great, but you can definitely move past it.
Your first step should be to get in touch with a DWI attorney. Here’s why:
Every DWI case is different. And every state has different laws. For this reason, the consequences of your DWI differ dramatically depending on:
- Where you are
- How much alcohol you have in your blood
- Your age
- If have previous convictions or arrests
- If you caused death or injury
A lawyer will explain any consequences to you, and how they apply to your case. For example, you’re likely to face a harsher punishment if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) over 0.8%. There are also different laws if you’re underage.
A DWI attorney will explain the potential jail time or fines you could face if you go to trial.
Since they have a wealth of experience with these types of convictions, they’ll know the legal process back to front. This means that they’ll often know a few options that your public defender may fail to tell you.
3. Increased Options
An attorney can let you know if you have the option for plea bargaining or community service.
They’ll also understand how the jurisdiction of the motor vehicle licensing department in your state and the courts work together to revoke or suspend your license. That means they can often help you retain the use of your car to attend work, through contingent license programs.
4. A More Manageable Process
If you’ve never dealt with the court system before, the process can be overwhelming. Dealing with the courts and the motor vehicle department can be time-consuming and frustrating.
A DWI attorney can take over the management of this process by making phone calls, completing the paperwork, scheduling and representing you at any hearings, along with any other arrangements.
5. The Possibility of a Plea Bargain
If you have a zone of uncertainty, you have the possibility of plea bargaining, making it beneficial for you to hire a DWI attorney. For example, if your BAC was 0.9 or 0.10, there was no untoward behavior, and your field sobriety tests were inconclusive, you may be able to plea bargain.
In this case, the prosecution could change your DWI to a lesser offense like reckless driving, which is still a misdemeanor but will give you a much better sentence.
6. Potential Sentence Bargaining
Many parts of the country also allow for sentence bargaining. This is hugely useful where pleading guilty could result in you spending a long time behind bars.
An example could be if you were willing to enter a guilty plea to a second DWI but only if you know what the sentence would be. In this case, it makes sense to hire a lawyer to get the best result possible.
If you’ve made a big mistake, it can feel like your world is falling down around you. Every day, 28 people are killed as a result of an alcohol-impaired driver. If you’re going through the court process after receiving a DWI charge, you may be low on support from family and friends.
A DWI attorney can offer you a level of support that you may need as you navigate this challenging time. They will have dealt with many cases similar to yours, and guided their clients through the process, and out the other side.
8. Inside Information
A DWI attorney will be well-informed and will know all of the players involved in a prosecution, from the judge to the prosecutor, to the local office.
They’ll be able to tell you whether the officer has ever been subject to any sort of disciplinary action. They’ll also know whether the officer was qualified and legally able to administer field sobriety tests.
If there is any doubt about the legality of your cases, they can often get your charges reduced or your case dismissed.
9. DWI Cases are Complicated
Most of the major defenses for DWI cases hinge on things like a rising blood alcohol content or faulty breathalyzer test.
It’s unlikely that you’ll understand the science behind the DWI charges. But an experienced lawyer will have studied the ins and outs of the legalities involved in these charges and can work with the ambiguities that could affect your case.
10. It’s Simply the Smart Choice
You wouldn’t try to give yourself a filling right? Instead, you’d go to a dentist.
And it’s unlikely that you’d try to perform surgery on yourself.
A DWI is a potentially life-altering experience. Not only do you need an attorney, but you need one that’s experienced and highly skilled in this area.
Sure, you can represent yourself. But there’s a reason that the saying “The lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client,” is so popular in the legal world.
This is particularly important if you have a job that requires you to have a car or a lack of public transport for you to get to work. Hiring a lawyer could be the difference between earning your livelihood or handing over your license.
Hire a DWI Attorney Today
As you can see, there are many reasons why you should consider hiring a lawyer to help you with your DWI charge. If you’d like to learn how we can help, get in touch today to learn more.