Those facing DUI charges often think it’s not worth it to spend extra money to hire a DUI lawyer. It seems like everyone has a DUI nowadays, therefore it must be a minor infraction. However, choosing to defend yourself against a DUI charge is highly inadvisable. So much so, that most judges will inform a defendant that “it is in your interests to obtain an attorney.”
Sure, a lawyer costs money. But so does a DUI conviction, which you are significantly more likely to receive should you decide not to retain an attorney. Depending on your number of previous DUI convictions and your exact BAC, you may be facing a minimum fine of $2,000, and possibly much higher. And that’s not even taking into account the increase in insurance premiums you will almost certainly face, if your carrier decides not to drop your policy entirely.
But money is just one piece of the pie. Your judge may top off your plate with a jail sentence of up to 5 years, in addition to whatever fines you’ve incurred. You may also be bequeathed an ignition interlock device for an additional two years. These devices force you to pass a breathalyzer test before allowing you to start your car. If you’ve taken cough syrup to ease an itchy throat, you may risk blowing too high and not being able to start your car.
And speaking of driving impediments, imagine being restricted from driving for a full year (the license suspension maximum for a 1st DUI offense)? Or how about for life without hope for reinstatement (the mandatory penalty for a 4th DUI conviction)?
DUI law is incredibly complex, and beating a DUI when you’ve blown over the legal limit in a breathalyzer requires the type of technical skill and expertise that most people who are not DUI attorneys lack. You significantly increase your chances of beating your charges or, at the very least, negotiating a favorable settlement if you consult with the experts and allow a DUI attorney to handle your case.