5 Things to Consider Before Hiring a DUI Lawyer
DUI is a serious crime no matter which country you are in, and this offense can cost you a lot. For those who don’t know, DUI, also known as Driving Under Influence is a crime committed when a person is driving any vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any other drug. For example, if we talk about South Carolina, it’s illegal to drive a vehicle if the alcohol level in your blood is .08% or higher. In case you are underage, the BAC level drops to.02% or higher, and if you are someone who owns a commercial driving license, your BAC of .04% or higher will be considered a crime and strict measures will be taken for it.
The point is that all the countries of the world have their own rules and regulations when it comes to DUI crimes and sometimes, you might even get jailed for it. This is where a DUI lawyer comes in handy. These people are pros, and they know how to deal with law and such crimes to save you from being jailed or from exorbitant fines. Also, no one would like the fact of having a DUI on his permanent record, which is another reason that explains and justifies why you should seek help from a DUI lawyer right away.
It’s easy to find a DUI lawyer around you. You can even use the internet to search for one. For example, if right now you search the internet for the best Los Angeles DUI lawyer you will probably get several results on your screen. Now, this is where you have to be smart. You can’t just hire any DUI lawyer when you fall victim to such a situation. In fact, if you recently were arrested for drinking and driving then there are a few things you need to take under consideration before hiring a DUI lawyer.
Do You Even Need A DUI Lawyer In The First Place?
As said earlier, each state has its own DUI consequences, and in some cases, the consequences are pretty serious, so you need to make a decision as per the situation. In some cases, people even get a DUI or another alcohol-relation violation even when their BAC is below the illegal limits. The consequences can range from anything, like your license might get suspended, you might have to attend an alcohol or drug rehab, there can be some jail time, or you’ll have to pay a hefty amount of fine.
What Is The Possible Fine Schedule?
Depending on your BAC level, if it’s 0.8% or less than that then here’s the fine schedule that will be charged to you by the court.
- First offense: $400
- Second offense: $2,000-$5,000
- Third offense: $3,800-$6,300
- Fourth or more: Set by the court to be no more than $10,000
The higher your BAC percentage, the more you will be fined.
The Possible Time You Have To Spend In Jail?
In most states, if it’s your first offense, you will be charged with a hefty amount of money, but in case this is your second or third offense then you will have to go to jail.
- First offense: Fine or 48 hours to 30 days imprisonment
- Second offense: Not less than 5 days up to a year
- Third offense: Not less than 60 days up to 3 years
- Fourth or more: Not less than 1 year up to 5 years
The point is that it’s not only illegal to drive under influence of alcohol or any drug, in fact, but it also is dangerous, and it can cost you your life. Over the past few years, there have been many cases of accidents and deaths reported only because people were drinking and driving or had drugs and were driving. So, if you ever get caught in this situation, it’s better to hire a DUI lawyer as he can help you in reducing the charges or he can even help in getting them all dismissed in the first place.
Now, to find such a lawyer, you need to make some efforts, and this is exactly why we are here today. Today we are going to jot down the 5 most important things you should consider before hiring a DUI lawyer. So, make sure to take notes because this article can come in handy to you in a lot of ways.
1. Finding A Local Attorney
There are lawyers who advertise their services nationwide but don’t opt for them because you need someone who specifically knows the laws of your state if you are charged for DUI. A local attorney will even have a good relationship with the judge or the prosecutor, and this can come in handy to you in your case. You need an attorney who understands the laws for DUI because these laws keep changing, so it’s better if you have someone by your side which is already prepared for all the answers and proceedings in the court.
2. Who Will Be Handling Your Case?
You need someone who will represent you in the court, and this is something you need to ask before hiring a DUI lawyer. This is because the DUI you meet and hire may not be the same attorney who handles your case and goes to you in the court. Your future is at stake with all the charges, and you clearly don’t want a lawyer who confuses you more. Even if you have to pay a few extra charges, do that but make sure to hire someone who will be representing you in the court.
3. How Much Do They Charge?
Before you hire someone, the wiser thing to do is to make sure that your finances are in order. You don’t want to get into trouble if you don’t have enough money to pay to the lawyer, right? So, even if it’s a little awkward to ask this, you should still make sure that the attorney you are about to hire, he is charging you a reasonable amount.
You need to understand that hiring an attorney is going to cost you a lot, but yes, there are some lawyers who have payment plans. In simpler words, you can pay them the money in the form of installments so yes, you should definitely consider this factor to ease yourself from some financial burden. On top of it all, you should know that their fee depends on many different factors and if an attorney gives you an estimated figure before taking up the case, that figure isn’t going to be set in stone. You have to be prepared to pay a little more extra or less than what you’ve been told because this is how it works.
4. Their Track Record
We’ve said this before, and we are saying it again that you can’t just pick “any” attorney that you come across, in fact, you are supposed to hire the one that has a good track record and is experienced. Yes, you read that right! You need someone pretty good with dealing and handling such DUI cases, so it’s better to ask for a track record.
Ask them how many cases have they won so far and what strategies they use to deal with a case that seems like a difficult one. Especially if you are facing some jail time, you need an attorney who has years of experience and strong knowledge about DUI charges. Hiring the right person for this can make a huge difference, and your life can be set back on track until you make the mistake of driving under the influence again.
5. Discipline from the Bar Association
You are supposed to know the level of professionalism and the ethics of the lawyer that you are about to hire, and that’s only possible if you ask him/her if they have ever faced discipline from the bar association. You want a lawyer who knows the rules and never breaks them because this is the only case in which he can save you from the charges and all the jail time. Just hire an attorney who has a good reputation in the court and everything will be fine for you then.
These are some of the most important things you need to consider before hiring a DUI lawyer. So, make sure to consider all of what we have mentioned and on top of it all, never ever drive while you are drunk or if you had some drugs. As said earlier, it’s not only illegal; in fact, it’s dangerous for you and all the other people driving on the road. You can even get someone else on the road-killed if you are drinking and driving so don’t make this mistake or else it can literally cost you your life and your career. Other than that, if you want to get your DUI record cleared, then opt for the tips we gave today and get started with the process as soon as possible.