Why You Must Hire a DUI Attorney

Authored by Wendy Witt, Esq.

Should I Really Fork Out the Money for a DUI Attorney?

Well, as you might guess, we can sum up the answer to that question in one word, "YES". If you've been arrested for drunk driving, you really should hire a DUI or DWI attorney.

Aren't I Guilty if My Blood Alcohol Content Measures .08% or Higher?

That's a good question and it's often asked - or, unfortunately, many presume they're guilty and don't even bother asking. Most folks think that if the Breathalyzer measures .08%, they're automatically guilty and will be convicted. This is a myth - and is far from truth.

There are many legitimate DUI defenses and often mistakes are made, including:

  • Illegal traffic stop

  • Lack of probable cause

  • Improper road block

  • Malfunctioning blood alcohol testing equipment

  • Improper use of blood alcohol testing equipment

  • Insufficient training to use blood alcohol testing equipment

  • Mistakes in subjective observations

  • Faulty conclusions

  • Failure to inform of blood alcohol test consequences

  • Failure to advise of Miranda rights

  • Not enough evidence to prove DUI elements beyond a reasonable doubt

  • Reversible trial error

  • Jury instruction error

Do I Have the Right to Represent Myself in Court?

Unless the court deems you incompetent to represent yourself, you have the Constitutional right to represent yourself as a criminal defendant. Even if it's in your best interest to hire a lawyer and you mess up your case, the court can't make you work with an attorney.

  • The right to represent yourself was established in the 6th Amendment to the Constitution.

  • That right is applicable to state and county cases through the 14th Amendment.

  • Bottom Line: If you have been arrested for DUI, you have the legal right to go to court without an attorney and represent yourself. This is called, "pro se".

Why Should I Pay for a DUI Attorney if I Can Represent Myself?

Consider learning from those who have gone before you. Even attorneys, who are arrested for drunk driving, hire DUI defense attorneys to represent them.

Just because you have a right to do something, doesn't necessarily mean it's in your best interests to exercise that right. The consequences of a DUI conviction are quite intense, making attorney’s fees nearly di minimus.

In your mind or on a piece of paper, balance paying a few thousand dollars with potential DUI conviction consequences such as:

  • Jail time

  • Fines

  • Fees

  • Job loss

  • Public embarrassment

  • Vehicle impoundment

  • Ignition interlock

  • Community service

  • Mandatory alcohol/drug evaluation and counseling

  • Loss of driver's license

  • Loss of livelihood

  • Difficulty securing work and housing

  • Family discord

It's estimated that just one DUI conviction will cost you at least $17,000 - at a minimum - and - a DUI conviction stays on your record - forever.

How to Find a DUI Lawyer

If you choose, you can also find a DUI lawyer by calling the bar association and asking for a list of attorneys or you can ask a friend for a referral.

You're welcome to search www.attorneys.org to find a DUI defense attorney. If you do, you'll be entitled to a free case evaluation and be under no obligation to hire that attorney.

Good luck with your case.

Related topics

More articles about dui

  • DUI Law

    From arraignment to sentencing - learn about your options for dealing with your DUI or DWI charge.

  • DUI Glossary

    Understanding DUI terms police, prosecutors and courts use can help your defense.

  • Defenses to Drunk Driving

    Carefully review our in-depth guide to your DUI defense - we break down the most successful defenses.

  • What You Tell Your DUI Defense Lawyer

    Disclose absolutely everything to your attorney and if there is any doubt, disclose that too - here’s why.

  • Penalties for a DUI Conviction

    Penalties typically depend on three factors - where you live, your criminal history and other mitigating or aggravating circumstances. Many offenders face more than just fines if convicted.

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