Criminal Attorney – Your Guide Through the DUI Process
No one expects to be arrested for driving under the influence. However, sometimes a night out with friends often leads to over indulgence and you get pulled over for drinking and driving. It can be hard to deal with the thought of going to court paying fines and losing your license but these are the consequences of this mistake. Many people don’t want to have to deal with the money it will cost to pay a criminal attorney and would rather just get everything out of the way as quickly as possible. This is a mistake. The benefits that retaining a good lawyer will reap for you are well worth the time and money you invest in working with him.
First of all, in many jurisdictions the penalty for DUI is jail time plus a substantial fine. This is often in addition to court ordered substance abuse evaluations and treatments. A good criminal attorney will work to not only lower the fines that the court imposes but will almost always be able to help you avoid serving jail time. This is no small thing considering the average fine for DUI is close to $5,000 and jail time for a first offense is in the neighborhood of 90 to 180 days. These penalties go up for each subsequent conviction and you could end up facing five years in prison. Factor in the cost of all the other things like an interlock device and insurance premiums and the fee for hiring a good criminal attorney is much more reasonable.
Beyond jail time and fines the biggest penalty of being convicted of drunk driving is that almost without fail you will lose your license. Most states have implemented zero tolerance policies when it comes to DUI and that means that if you are over the legal limit, even if you are not convicted you can lose your license for at least six months. For most people not driving is not an option. Our lives rely on our ability to get to and from our duties in a timely manner. The loss of driving privileges will cripple most people’s daily lives. Fortunately a good criminal attorney is often able to save your license and keep you on the road.
More than any one thing the benefits of having a good criminal attorney add up a necessary ally in this difficult situation. Beyond defending you in court he will help you understand what is going on and work to avoid a trial altogether. Often he is able to reduce the charge or have it dismissed. As a last resort he will go to the bat for you in a trial and hopefully win the case. Regardless of the outcome however you will want someone qualified and familiar with the process by your side as you try to navigate this often confusing and frustrating situation.