If you have been arrested for a DUI, and this is your first offense, you need to understand the importance of hiring an attorney. Too often, a person who has been arrested will think that it is best to simply plead guilty and take the punishment, but this is never a good idea. The following are a few reasons you need to hire a DUI attorney.
1. A first-time DUI is serious
If you have no criminal record, you may think that a judge will go easy on you. After all, the court system has a reputation for giving people a break on a first-time offense. The problem is that judges have a lot of discretion in sentencing. You may think that the punishment will not be severe, but you can end up with a judge that wants to make an impression on you, so you will not repeat your mistake of drinking and driving. But even with a sympathetic judge, you may receive a harsher sentence than you planned on. Given the specifics of your arrest, an attorney will be able to inform you of the full range of legal consequences.
2. An attorney can often mitigate the consequences of a DUI
Occasionally, an attorney can get the charges against you dropped, but most of the time, you will have to face the consequences of what you've done. However, an attorney can negotiate on your behalf. The district attorney does not want to go to court unless they have to, so they are usually willing to negotiate a plea bargain. Often, this means a lighter sentence. For example, you may not lose your license for a first offense when you have a lawyer, especially if there were no injuries or property damage. You may want to plead guilty and try to put it all behind you, but the best way to accomplish this is with legal representation.
3. Only an attorney can provide the best counsel
The laws vary from one state to another, and they are also constantly changing. Each year, new laws can be passed or modified. So, if you know someone who experienced a DUI arrest, you need to understand that the information may not be applicable in your state, or the information is outdated. Also, the information may not be accurate. Your situation may be different from your friend's circumstances. You need to speak to an attorney to get the best advice for your circumstances.
If there is one thing to remember, it is to not admit guilt, but even more important is to contact an attorney before your arraignment. You need to plead not guilty to any and all charges against you. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf, and they may be able to make a first-time offense as painless as possible.