Last updated on March 14, 2017

Why Is It Crucial To Hire An Attorney For A DUI Case?

It is a misconception that the outcome of a DUI case is predetermined and everybody always gets the same outcome. Every case is a little bit different, because the facts of the case are different, the outcomes are different, the way someone is treated in front of one judge as compared to the treatment they get in front of another judge or even in the same courthouse is also different, which makes the cases are a lot more unique than people sometimes think.

Having the right person to help navigate the differences between one place to the other and the differences between a person’s case and a friend’s case and things like that are part of what someone would get when they hire an attorney. Someone may think they know, but they probably wouldn’t know exactly what they would be getting into, what all of the risks are and where the potential problems are. These are the kinds of things that a person would be hoping to get help with from their attorney.

Do The Judges Or The Court Think Someone Is Being Arrogant When They Hire An Attorney For A Case Like DUI?

Judges prefer to deal with attorneys because they understand the process, the procedure, what has to happen, when it has to happen and they know the judge and what the judge does not does not like. The attorney can then explain everything to the client. Whereas if the client is either representing themselves or using a court appointed counsel, they would not have the same amount of access to the legal resources that a retained attorney would provide, so they never quite understand the whole process as well as they should considering what they have at risk. The misconception is not really based on truth because a judge would be happy to see an attorney on the case who knows what they are doing.

How Does An Attorney Utilize His Time For A DUI Case, When Someone Has Hired Him And Has Paid For His Time?

Most attorneys will handle DUI cases on a flat fee basis, meaning they will charge the client a certain fee for them to handle the case. Sometimes that fee is broken up and there is one charge to handle the case, meaning everything except for a trial, and then there is a separate charge if the case does go to trial.

In that type of case the attorney usually makes all the court appearances with the client for the arraignment, pretrial, motions, trial, evidentiary hearings and anything like that. In addition, they have to work through the prosecutor’s office to obtain copies of the discovery, which includes things like the police report, videotapes from the arresting car, videotapes from the booking area, maintenance logs for the data master machine and anything to do with a blood draw that might have occurred. All the evidence needs to be gathered and it has to be reviewed and then decisions would need to be made on whether or not there are problems with the case that can be exploited to the client’s benefit. In other words, it can be seen by watching the in-car police video, whether or not the police actually had a legitimate reason to stop the person and if they did not, then the attorney can prepare a motion to suppress the evidence found after the stop and have the case dismissed. Additionally, they also educate the client on the process and what to expect, and deal with the court regarding things like scheduling matters, which are typical things the attorney would do on an average case.

Would It Be Worth It To Hire An Attorney For A Second DUI If The Last DUI Case Did Not End Well?

A second DUI would be much more serious than the first DUI, especially if it’s the second one within 7 years, in which case the maximum punishment is up to one year in jail instead of the maximum punishment being 93 days in jail, so there is a lot more at risk.

The law requires a minimum of 5 days in jail or a lot of community service for a second offense. Most judges give some jail time for second offenses unless they are convinced not to. The driver’s license sanction is a one-year revocation of the driver’s license unless a person can get into some state approved sobriety court program or they can beat the case. The risk level goes up tremendously on a second offense. If someone was not happy with their experience with their lawyer the first time, then they need to get another lawyer for the second offense, but they will need to find somebody good because there will be a lot more in jeopardy than there was before. If the first experience was unpleasant, then throwing in the towel on the second offense will be much worse than the first time.

A Friend Went Through This Before And Was Successful So If I Do Instead The Same Things, Would I Get The Same Results?”

Every case is different, so a person and their friend could have the exact same case but could end up with different judges, and the person might go to jail or might get a very easy probation whereas nothing was different about what the person said or did. The only difference would have been the judge and their philosophy on punishment for these cases.

It is risky to make assumptions about what will happen in the court system especially if someone is not using good data to know what they are talking about or to just generalize because their friend had a very similar case. It is possible it might work out that way but that is just one of many possibilities. Knowledge is power and experience will protect the person. A person needs to respect that drunk driving is the most serious crime in the eyes of the district court, and they need to show that same level of understanding to the court as they work their way through the case.

Do The Courts Go Easy On The First DUI Or Should The Person Consider Hiring An Attorney?

Some judges give every first offender jail time whereas others go significantly easier on people as long as they are adults with good driving records, no criminal history, a low blood alcohol level and there was no accident. A first offense is still risky and knowing how to get through in the best possible way is very important.

The judge and the prosecutor are not there to answer questions and the court is not there to give advice, in fact they are banned by law from giving legal advice. If someone thinks they can be friendly to them and in return they will be friendly to the person, then that is not really the nature of the system because it is generally an adversarial system. Some courts are more polite to people than others but in general, they are really not supposed to be helping the person figure anything out. There are a lot of benefits for people to hire attorneys no matter if it is a first offense or a third offense, just to know all the ins and outs of DUI law, the penalties, what to watch out for and things like which someone would not want to have happen to them on a probation.

For more information on Hiring a Lawyer for a DUI case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling  (248) 451-2200 today.

Posted in: DWI
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