Most people are familiar with “drunk driving” even if the official terms are DWI (driving while intoxicated) and DUI (driving under the influence). Thre is very little difference between the two. DWI involves alcohol while DUI involves drugs (legal or illegal drugs). In Arizona, both are referred to using the term DUI.
Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can negatively impact your driving license and criminal record as it is considered a crime across all states. If you have been arrested in Arizona, you may have to face license suspension, hefty fines, and even jail time. Even if you are legally allowed to represent yourself in a DUI trial, it would be best to have a DUI defense lawyer.
Here are some of the possibilities for DUI offenders working with criminal defense attorneys:
1. Present a good defense against the DUI charges.
If you have pending charges for drunk driving, your case will be taken to criminal court. Facing a judge with little or no knowledge of driving laws may jeopardize your chances of presenting a good defense and a reduced sentence. This is where the opinion of an experienced DUI lawyer becomes of great value.
Working with experienced DUI attorneys will help highlight weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and bring other mitigating factors to light. Having legal representation also allows you to have all your questions answered. You will have to present the police report and any other documents for your defense. Doing so will prevent a conviction or at least prevent a stiffer sentence.
2. Save money in the long run.
Although criminal defense lawyers usually give free consultations, some offenders may opt not to hire one due to the fee they have to pay. But even if you may shell out up to $1000 throughout your trial, if your case does not go to trial or if your sentence gets reduced, you actually save money in the long-term. Having a severe DUI record or criminal history can hurt your chances in future job applications or bank loans, so paying attorney fees is likely money well spent.
3. Increase chances for lowered sentences.
Arizona DUI convictions can get complicated when it involves aggravating elements like injuries, accidents, or a very high blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A typical charge is given to any motorists above 21 who has exceeded the BAC limit of .08 and has failed standardized field sobriety tests. The punishment involved jail time and fines, depending on the charges filed. Harsher penalties await those convicted for second and third offenses.
Since a criminal defense attorney is familiar with DUI laws, there can be negotiations for a plea bargain which involves either a sentence reduction or charge reduction. This is preferable than having the unrepresented defendant accept a standard offer not knowing that he has a viable defense. Even acquittal of charges is possible if you have a solid defense.
4. Minimize court appearances.
As a criminal defendant, you have the right to an attorney, whether it be a public defender or a private lawyer. Although you pay more for the latter, this may be the more recommended choice as public defenders normally have a large caseload. In terms of knowledge, both types of defense are well acquainted with state laws and plea bargaining.
When you opt for public defenders, you cannot choose whom the court will appoint to you, unlike when you hire a private DUI defense attorney. Moreover, you will have to deal with the “administrative per se” proceedings with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) on your own.
On the other hand, it would be favorable to have a private DUI attorney so you can be represented in both DMV proceedings and the criminal court trial. This will minimize the amount of time court appearances you should have.
If you have been charged with DUI and finances present as an obstacle in getting legal defense, just consider the four benefits outlined above. Remember, a lack of legal knowledge will place you at a disadvantage should your charge be moved to court.
Availing the services of criminal defense lawyers will be your best decision When you are charged with DUI, you will be pressed for time to get back your license and your trial will most likely be a few months away. A defense attorney may help you recover your suspended license. Furthermore, hiring a defense lawyer earlier will enable you to have a stronger defense in the DUI courtroom. Your DUI lawyer will outline all your options and present you with drunk driving defenses available to you. If you, your family, or friends are facing DUI arrests or charges, we at The Law Office of Howard A. Snader, LLC will help you through our experienced DUI attorneys. Call us now for a free consultation.