If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or if you’re charged with a DUI, you should have legal representation. A DUI attorney can help you prepare for your court date, fight against the charges against you, and obtain the best outcome for your case. A skilled DUI attorney can also help you learn the laws of the state and the details of your specific case. If you’re not familiar with how to properly hire an experienced lawyer, here’s a good starting place. Below, you’ll discover several possible questions to ask your DUI attorney at your initial consultation.

How many fines can I expect to pay as a result of my DUI conviction? Your defense lawyer will know the exact number of fines you are expected to pay, but in some states, the fines can be as low as a dollar. In other words, in many cases, your criminal offense may only earn you a ticket, rather than a fine or jail time. In addition, many drivers who are caught drunk driving do not spend time in jail because they receive deferred judgments or special disposition deals that release them from their fines and fees.

Can my lawyer help me reduce the severity of my sentence? As with many things in life, the nature of your criminal offense will affect the nature of your sentencing. Many states aim to provide the most severe penalties for serious crimes, while others aim to provide more flexible sentencing for less serious crimes. Because you are a criminal offense, your lawyer is very likely to have a unique approach to discussing your case with prosecutors and judges. A knowledgeable DUI lawyer can draw upon his or her past experience with DUI cases to build a case that offers you the best chance of receiving the most flexible sentencing possible.

How can my DUI lawyer defend me against the charges brought against me? If you’ve been arrested for drinking and driving, you are probably going to face an alcohol class requirement, a Breath or Blood Alcohol Level Test (BAC) at the initial arrest, a mandatory ignition interlock device (TIM), and possible jail time. The defense will work to get all of these charges dismissed or at least reduced so that you can successfully defend yourself. The defense may also fight to have evidence against you suppressed due to lack of probable cause, improper laboratory testing methods, or other abuses by the police.

Do I have to hire my own attorney if I choose not to hire one? In some states, you may have the option to hire either a private criminal defense attorney or a DUI attorney to work on your case. Hiring a private attorney will give you the advantage of having an experienced professional handling your case. In addition, if you decide to represent yourself in the case, you should have a legal strategy drafted before you go to court. You should also research the case well to make sure you know how to argue your points in court.

Is it okay to bargain my plea bargain? When you are facing serious criminal charges such as drunk driving, it is usually not advisable to try and bargain your way out of trouble. However, you should not be afraid to discuss plea bargain offers with your DUI lawyer. Often, if you are caught drunk driving and are charged with this crime, you will have no other choice but to go to court.

Will my fines and penalties go down if I agree to take a plea bargain? A guilty plea is much better than a not guilty verdict when it comes to your criminal defense lawyer. He can negotiate for more leniency with the prosecutors or judges if you are found guilty. In some cases, he may even be able to get your fines dropped altogether, which will be good news if you do not have the money to pay the fines.

Will a guilty plea bargain increase the sentence? If you are found guilty, your fines will more than likely go up and you will end up serving more time in jail. You will also be stripped of your driver’s license after a certain amount of time in jail, although most states allow you to have the privilege of a driver’s license within a year of your conviction.

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