If you were recently arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, you may wonder if it would be a good idea to hire a lawyer. If so, there are three instances when you should definitely consider hiring an attorney to represent you for your DUI case.
Previous DUIs on Your Record
If this is not the first time you were pulled over for drinking and driving, you may have one or more previous convictions on your record. Each new DUI charge leads to stiffer penalties and fines. Especially if you are facing possible license suspension or even jail time, you do not want to go into the courtroom alone. You should have a DUI attorney guiding and representing you throughout the entire process.
Your Blood Alcohol Level Was Very High
Another time you may want to have an attorney by your side is if you had a very high blood alcohol level. Even if you have never had a prior DUI incident, drinking two to three times over the legal limit could result in harsh penalties.
Depending on the state in which you live, you may be ordered to pay a fine and take classes. Or, even the first time with a high BAC level could have you sitting in jail for 30 days if you are convicted.
Having an attorney represent you who knows the laws can help you prepare your case in a way that you can reduce your penalty or gain leniency from the judge.
Injury or Property Damage Was Involved
No matter how many DUIs you have had in the past or whether your BAC level was three times the limit, if someone was hurt or property was damaged while you were driving, you will need an attorney. Not only will you have the fines and penalties associated with a DUI, you may face additional charges for hurting someone or for running into a person's mailbox or fence.
These charges can also come with punitive damages, meaning you have to replace property or pay for the pain and suffering someone endured because you hit their vehicle. You may also face additional fines and possible jail time for each charge.
If any of the above scenarios describe your case, you may want to think seriously about having legal representation. Contact a DUI attorney to schedule an appointment to discuss your case before the first court date so they can properly prepare for your defense before the judge.