Of course, it is your right to defend yourself against DUI/DWI charges; post bail, make a plea deal or plead guilty.
However, the outcome will have long-lasting consequences; fines, fees, stained permanent record (even appearing in Google searches for your name), suspension or revocation of a driving privilege, much higher auto insurance costs, and jail time.
1 – Reconsider Pleading Guilty
If you chose to “blow” or provide urine or blood sample at the time of your arrest, and your blood alcohol content (BAC) was above .08%, it doesn’t guarantee your conviction. A DUI lawyer can offer advice that could affect the severity of your sentence. If your BAC was lower than .08%, a DUI attorney may be able to use your low BAC to achieve a better plea bargain your case.
2- Plea Bargaining & Sentence Bargaining
Many states prohibit the prohibit plea bargaining of a DUI charge (e.g., DUI to reckless driving), hire an attorney who knows the prosecutors. This can make a vital difference in post-conviction & penalties.
Most states offer sentence bargaining for a DUI conviction that may reduce the period of incarceration. If it is your second DUI, for example, you may agree to a guilty plea if you know your sentence. For an aggravated DUI charge (your BAC was over .15% that resulted in injury or death) sentence bargaining is vital. A skilled DUI lawyer should manage the sentence bargaining for you.
3- The Penalties for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th DUI are Very Steep
Even if you pled guilty to your first DUI, you better get the assistance of an accomplished DUI attorney for subsequent DUI charges. Second, third, and fourth DUI offenses almost always involve incarceration, large bail bonds & steep penalties. Lawyers have familiarity with the court system, the prosecuting attorneys, what plea bargains and sentence bargains are available to you, and can navigate the complex administration procedures to achieve the best outcome possible.
4 – What About The Cost of A DUI Attorney?
Your DUI lawyer will be right there beside you in court; negotiating, entering your plea, and bargaining down your sentence so you may also have lower fines and fees. This may offset, if not cover, the cost of representation.