Do You Really Need to Hire a Lawyer for a DUI?

I meet with a lot of people who are charged with DUI herein Lexington and Columbia. During our meetings many have shared the same question. Do I really need to hire a lawyer for a DUI, especially if it a first offense.

The simple answer is yes, you do. But I usually also find it helpful to explain why.

A DUI conviction has penalties from both the criminal law standpoint and from the DMV. The role of the defense lawyer is to help either eliminate those penalties or to minimize them to the greatest extent possible.

DUI convictions are important for police departments and for individual officers. Because of this offers to dismiss or reduce charges are not automatically made. For example, when we hear from someone that the officer said that they would “help” them with their DUI if they went to court, what that usually means is not ask for jail and agree to a payment plan for any fine. That is not “help” for the criminal record, license suspension, SR-22 insurance, interlock device, or ADSAP requirements.

In almost all cases we are able to help the client achieve some level of favorable reduction in their case. For most of these that reduction comes with more than enough savings in court fees and other expenses than what the legal fees were.

But beyond the financial savings there are also other benefits we routinely see for our clients:

Removal of the embarrassment and hassle of having to install an interlock device;

Reduction or elimination of a driver’s license suspension;

Removal of requirement to attend ADSAP courses;

Keeping the criminal record clear of a DUI conviction;

Resolutions to fine only sentences, no return to jail.

In some cases we’re able to obtain complete dismissals of case. In others there are reductions where there is some penalty, but significantly less than the original charge.

The rule for our clients is that when they hire us for a DUI if there charge is not dismissed, or reduced to their satisfaction, then we want to fight the charge in court. We are not hired to unfairly plead our clients guilty to things, or to pressure them into taking a deal that they don’t feel is in their best interest. While we do get the majority of DUI cases reduced to our client’s satisfaction without having to fight it in court, we also do regularly take these cases to trial.

At the end of the day we’ve learned that the odds or chances for a reduction or dismissal are high enough for every case that it makes sense to hire a lawyer. For this reason we recommend that everyone charged with DUI, especially a first offense (because they have the clean record to try to protect), definitely meet with a lawyer before court and strongly considering hiring one for their case.

You should know that no lawyer can ever promise or guarantee a specific result for any DUI case. You should also know that prior results we’ve obtained for other client’s don’t necessarily indicate that similar results can be obtained for other clients.

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