DUI is an offence of driving a vehicle when you are impaired by drugs or alcohol. Drink driving puts the lives of drivers, passengers and passers-by in danger, so it is rightly considered a serious crime. You are arrested for DUI when your blood alcohol limit exceeds 0.08%.
The legal process of a DUI case is complicated, and it can be difficult to handle it on your own. While you may beat a DUI case on your own, hiring a DUI lawyer to handle your case increases the chance of lowering fines, or avoiding conviction completely.
A DUI lawyer will find weaknesses and strengths in your case, and then design a strategy accordingly to help you beat the case, and reduce your penalty as much as legally possible. The attorney can challenge the evidence, talk to the prosecuting lawyer, and find faults in the investigation process. These are the tasks that an average person cannot perform. Only a lawyer who is aware of the current laws and has years of experience under his belt can perform these legal tasks to help you beat a DUI.
Misdemeanour DUI vs Felony DUI
If it is your first or second DUI case, it may be charged as a misdemeanour, unless you caused a serious injury or death. A misdemeanour crime is a form of crime that is punished for less than one year, according to Britannica. This case is not as severe as a felony, but you may still end up paying a hefty fine, or experience other consequences.
You will receive a combination of the following penalties for a misdemeanour DUI charge…
Probation: A time period during which you will be supervised by a probation officer.
Community service: You perform a task for the betterment of your society without getting any compensation.
Fine: Ranging from $500 to $1000, or more than $1000 if your blood alcohol limit is 0.15 plus.
A driving school course: To make you learn the importance of safe driving.
Jail sentence: For less than a year.
Licence suspension: For up to one year.
If it is your third or further DUI case or you have injured a victim severely, your case will be considered a felony offence. It is punishable by more than one year. However, hiring a DUI lawyer may help you reduce this duration.
You may receive the following punishments for a felony DUI case.
Jail sentence: Up to 15 years
Fine: Up to $10,000
Permanent licence suspension
Some cases don’t go to court; instead, they are bargained between the defence and prosecutor. The prosecutor will try his best to find flaws in your evidence, so he can improve his record. You can hire a DUI lawyer to negotiate with the prosecutor like professionals.
What if I don’t hire a private DUI lawyer?
You need a lawyer to defend your case in court. You have a right to an attorney, so if you don’t hire a private attorney, the court will provide you with a public defender to present your case. If your case is complicated and requires more attention, hiring a private lawyer might be a better idea than working with a public attorney.