If you have been arrested because you were driving under the influence, you need to contact an attorney immediately. You may be tempted to accept whatever penalty is given to you and try to put the incident behind you, but without the benefit of representation, the punishment may be far worse than you would have received with an attorney. The following are just three situations in which an attorney can help reduce the severity of the punishment for a DUI.
There were injuries to another person or property damage.
In many situations, your DUI may be considered a misdemeanor, but this is not always true. For example, if this is a first time offense, you may assume that it will be a misdemeanor,only to find out later that you are being charged with a felony offense. This can happen if there were injuries to other people or even if there has been a high value of property damage.
Your were driving with a suspended license
Another example is when your DUI occurred while driving with a suspended license. Even in situations where your license was suspended for reasons that had nothing to do with a DUI, in some states, this can turn a DUI into a felony charge. Without legal representation, you are not likely to understand any legal possibilities to prevent this from happening. The best chance you have to stop this is to speak to an attorney before charges are filed against you.
You may lose your driving privileges
Without an attorney, your driving privileges can be suspended even if it is a first-time offense. However, in some states, it is common for the punishment for a DUI to vary greatly, and two people with the same exact situation may receive different sentences. It may depend on the judge. But it may be possible to keep your driving privileges for the sake of your employment. In this case, you may be able to drive during your working hours, but not before or after work and not on your days off. This type of limited driving privileges can save your job.
Just because you are guilty of a DUI doesn't mean you don't need an attorney. Although it is true that an attorney may not be able to get you off without any penalties, a good felony defense attorney can often mitigate the situation for you. An attorney will be working in your best interest and may be able to prevent the courts from maximizing the penalties for your DUI.