When charged with Driving under the Influence or DUI, you face criminal charges, and the case goes to a criminal court. The first thing to do when facing such a situation is to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the case. It needs the involvement of trained legal professionals because of the complexities of DUI laws that are constantly changing. Moreover, each case is unique, and only an experienced DUI lawyer can reach to the depth of the case to understand its dimensions and implications. You can either appoint criminal lawyers Caldwell and Kearns by hiring their services or if you are financially stressed you can request the court to appoint a public defender to represent your case. The opinion of an experienced DUI lawyer is indeed very valuable.
Consult a lawyer
Most drunk driving attorneys offer a free consultation to would-be clients for the first time, but even if you need to pay some fees, as some lawyers might charge, it is worth paying. To make the best use of your time, bring along with you all documents pertaining to the case including the police report. Make a list of questions that you want to ask the attorney to understand the case in your own way. The consultation helps to figure out how the case would work out in case you hire an attorney, but it is not obligatory to go with the attorney you consult.
When you can do without an attorney
If it is a first DUI offense that you are facing you would receive a standard plea deal that carries typically lighter DUI sentence as allowed by the law. A standard DUI first offense would mean that it is the first booking in the life of the accused for DUI driving and there are no records of prior DUI convictions. Moreover, the offense must not involve any aggravating factors like injuries, accidents or particularly high BAC (blood alcohol concentration). Regardless the defendant hiring an attorney, arranging for a public defender or representing himself the standard plea offer is the same. It might appear that hiring an attorney for first DUI case does not make any difference but sometimes it is only the beginning and the case starts getting complex as it proceeds.
Shaping the standard offer
Attorneys experienced in handling DUI cases can shape the standard offer by bringing mitigating factors to the attention of the prosecutor or pointing out weaknesses in the case framed by the prosecutor. Attorneys who are familiar with the local practices, the judge and the district attorney use their experience and influence to negotiate such cases better. If the defendant has viable defenses, it would be better to decline the standard plea offer, but then only an attorney can advise about it. Therefore, seeking a lawyer’s advice before accepting a plea deal is always helpful.If you do not have the means of hiring a private attorney you can approach the court for appointing a public defender free of cost. But under no circumstances should DUI cases go unrepresented.