If you have been arrested for driving under the influence and it is your first time, it can be a terrifying experience, and you may feel isolated and alone. When facing the possibility that you may end up with a criminal record, you need to take advantage of every resource available under the law to protect your rights. While you have the option to represent yourself, here are a few reasons hiring an attorney may help your case.
1. Lawyers understand complex laws
This may be your first offense, but it is not your lawyer’s first time working a DUI case. The laws and statutes are complex and can be confusing to someone without the knowledge, training and experience to handle the case. There are many different definitions of DUI in Arizona, and a lawyer is likely to understand each one.
2. Lawyers have experience in a courtroom
Courtrooms can be very intimidating to first-time offenders, and you may deal with serious stress and anxiety that confuses the details of the incident in your mind, or makes it difficult to express yourself clearly. Attorneys typically know the judges presiding over this type of case, and are comfortable speaking freely and concisely about your circumstances. With so much at stake, you need a trusted advocate in your corner.
3. You want to keep your license if possible
Many states, including Arizona, have strict laws about license suspension if you have a DUI penalty. You could lose your license for anywhere from one to five years, and if you are under 21 when you are charged, you will automatically lose your license immediately. A lawyer can navigate the criminal justice system to help you keep your license when it is possible.
4. Drunk driving is a science
There is much more to charging someone with DUI than just a simple breathalyzer test. Lawyers can determine if the evidence used against you was accurate. You may have the option to challenge the claims with faulty breathalyzer tests and rising blood alcohol levels, things you are not likely to think of if you are not a lawyer.
5. Lawyers are prepared to challenge your charges
If you are convicted of driving under the influence, it will stay on your permanent record and may interfere with your ability to get housing or a job in the future. If your charges must be challenged, an attorney is familiar with things such as breathalyzer calibration information and ways that the results from this test may be invalidated, or if the officer followed proper protocol when administering the test.
If you are facing charges of DUI and are unsure where to turn, consult with an attorney immediately.