A DUI or DWI is a serious charge. It is considered a crime and handled in the criminal court system. Technically, defendants have a right to represent themselves in criminal court. The real question is whether you need a lawyer or not. If you don’t make enough money, you can have a public defender appointed by the court to represent you through the process, as an attorney, like a DWI lawyer from a firm like the Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, can explain. It might be worth considering whether you should hire your own lawyer. Here are few things to think about.
Do You Know the Legal Aspects of Your Situation?
The law is complex. DWI and DUI lawyers keep up with the legal aspects in your state. The facts of your case are also unique. You may have a situation that gives you the possibility of a better outcome. A DWI conviction will be on your record forever. It can affect employment and insurance rates for the rest of your life. It might be to your benefit to get legal advice from someone with experience in DUIs to decide what your next best steps are.
Should You Take the Plea Deal?
The prosecutor may offer you a deal if you just plead guilty. That doesn’t take into account whether there are factors that could affect your case. Pleading guilty means that you are convicted. There may be long-term consequences that you should be aware of. Generally, a standard offer is also a starting point. In some states, prosecutors can’t make a deal on a DUI, but in other states, there is some leeway. You may have to pay court costs and fines for your DUI. You may have other questions. Your lawyer will provide answers that you can trust.
Do You Really Understand All the Consequences?
A DUI is a criminal case, but there are also other considerations. Your license may be at risk. You may have to deal with that in an administrative process through the licensing agency. Does a conviction mean that you must attend a rehab program? What about your insurance rates? They will go up. How will your conviction affect your employment? You should discuss the long-term consequences of your DUI before pleading guilty.
It may seem like a waste of money to hire a lawyer for a first DUI, but your attorney can protect your rights. For a second or third DUI, if you will be facing even more consequences, even prison. It is even more important for you to have a legal advocate on your side.