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Do I Need A Lawyer if I Received a DUI or DWI Ticket

Do I Need A Lawyer if I Received a DUI or DWI Ticket

Many people think that a ticket for driving under the influence of alcohol represents a small sanction for a minor infraction. That is a dangerous mistake. If you have been charged with DUI, you should consult an attorney immediately.

Consequences Of A DUI Conviction

DUI convictions carry serious consequences. You could face jail time or hefty fines, and you will likely be forced to report your conviction on subsequent job applications and loan requests. Unless it is your first offense, your driver's license will be suspended. If you earn your living as a driver, you could lose your career. It is commonplace for DUI offenders to be ordered to submit to an alcoholism evaluation, and the court may also decide to order you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.

How An Attorney Can Help

Because driving under the influence is a crime, you are entitled to all the protections the Constitution grants to criminal defendants. You have the right to an attorney, the right not to answer questions and the right to face your accusers. An attorney can help you understand and protect those rights.

In many DUI cases, the most important issue is whether the police officer had probable cause to stop your car. Your attorney can argue to the court that the officer stopped you illegally; if successful, the prosecution's case will be destroyed. The police officer will not be able to testify about how you spoke or behaved; the results of any tests, such as a blood analysis or field sobriety test, will be inadmissible; and any alcohol containers found in your vehicle will be suppressed. Even if your attorney cannot force the prosecution to dismiss the charges, experienced defense attorneys typically have solid working relationships with the local prosecutors. Your attorney can use that relationship to negotiate a better plea bargain. You may even be able to enter a diversionary program, which will wipe your record clean, leaving no formal conviction.

If you have been charged with DUI, you should contact a DUI attorney immediately.