DUI attorneys are lawyers that base their primary focus and that of their practice to dealing with DUI offenses, charges, and convictions. These attorneys work hard to gain all the necessary knowledge about the laws and penalties that are associated with DUI offenses and how to deal with them. DUI attorneys can help a person minimize or eliminate their penalties as well as dismiss a case lacking evidence (or proper evidence).
Some of these could include helping an offender shorten or eliminate their jail sentence, trade fines for jail time or community service, petition for DUI classes over license suspension, or rid of a case altogether. DUI attorneys have an “easier” time defending clients that were charged in a DUI checkpoint because they usually argue the unconstitutionality of these checkpoints in their case.
Importance of Legal Representation
The importance of having a DUI attorney, and a good one at that, on your side during a DUI conviction is essential. These attorneys have spent a great deal of time focusing and training on how to defend DUI offenses in a court of law. The experienced ones also have a great reputation with a proven track record, as well as credibility through networking.
These DUI attorneys may have some leverage in helping to lessen penalties if they have created a name for themselves with local judges and prosecutors. In these cases first time offenders are more likely to see a plea bargain rather than a trial pending they were looking to enter a not guilty plea. DUI attorneys can help coach a person through the steps they will face pre, during, and post trial, including post-conviction relief, if applicable.
The court proceedings in a DUI case can vary by state, but follow the same general basis. Once a person has been charged they will enter a plea, usually under the guidance of a DUI attorney. During this hearing, the offender may be offered a plea agreement from the prosecutor (previously arranged with the defending attorney), which offers a lighter sentencing.
They may plea guilty to this lesser offense in their benefit, and be sentenced on the spot. If a defendant enters a not guilty plea, then they will face trial scheduled for a later date. A person may also plead guilty to the charge sometimes if its their first offense, and the DUI attorney informs them of no better option. Again the person may be sentenced there, or may be called back on a later date for sentencing.
Several states have what is known as a mandatory minimum penalty for DUI offenses ( as well as other offenses). These minimums are non negotiable if convicted and may entitle one or more penalties for the defendant to follow during sentencing. Mandatory minimum penalties can be handed on their own if the charge is lessened, or can be added on top of a graver sentencing.
Some states demand jail time of any DUI offender, no matter if it’s a first time or repeat offender. Mostly mandatory minimums will require fines, probation, DUI school, alcohol abstinence classes, jail time, prison terms, suspension or revocation of driving privileges, or installation of ignition interlock devices in their vehicle. The mandatory minimum penalties can be a nightmare for DUI attorneys in some states.
The best thing to have when facing a DUI charge in court is the best possible DUI attorney. These attorneys place their primary focus on defending people against DUI charges, and giving them the best possible outcome such as a lighter sentencing, options in place of jail time, or even dismissing a case altogether.
The cost of a good DUI attorney can be extremely high, especially for most people, this is why some lawyers offer payment plans. Payment plans usually entitle a down payment followed by monthly installment, due to the workload these cases demand. DUI attorneys like to know that the time they put into a case will be well compensated for, therefore this is a means for them to reassure that.
Expunge DUI Conviction
There are a few options of post-conviction relief for people that were convicted of DUI and have carried out their sentence., one of these is the option to expunge the conviction. This means to completely throw out the conviction from the person’s record eliminating a tainted name on their record. This can benefit that person for current and future employers, as well as save them embarrassment from their family and friends.
Not all cases qualify to be expunged, and even then a person must meet several guidelines to be eligible. On top of this, a person must submit several documents to a lawyer about their past criminal (if applicable) and employment history, etc.. to better determine that person’s character.