One crime that is certainly treated very seriously by the legal system is driving while under the influence of alcohol. Being convicted of this crime can produce some pretty serious consequences for the accused. Not having proper representation can put a defendant at risk. Below are several reasons why you need a DUI lawyer.
1. You Could Go to Jail
One of the worst consequences of being convicted of driving while under the influence is the possibility of spending time behind bars. This is even the case for first time offenders. You could spend over 90 days in jail. If your blood alcohol level is high enough, the amount of jail time could be doubled.
If you have been convicted of a DUI before, the amount of time spent locked up could grow exponentially. These days, it’s not uncommon for a person convicted of multiple DUIs to be sentenced to five years in a state prison.
Spending time incarcerated is no laughing matter. Not only is your freedom gone, but your life is constantly at risk. If you are put into general population, there is a good chance that you will be the victim of a violent crime perpetrated by a felon doing hard time.
2. You Could Lose Your Driving Privileges
If you enjoy the freedom to drive as you please, you should absolutely have representation from a DUI attorney in court. Otherwise, you could lose your driving privileges. If convicted, you could have your driver’s license suspended. Driving with a suspended license is a serious crime in and of itself that could result in serious jail time and fines. If you receive multiple DUI convictions, you could have your licensed confiscated permanently.
Even in cases when a person convicted of a DUI is allowed to drive again, there may be serious limitations. This could include a device being placed on the ignition that requires a breathalyzer test to be performed on the driver before the car will start. This can be extremely awkward especially if you have passengers in your vehicle.
3. Your Car Insurance Will Suffer
Another serious consequence of being convicted of a DUI is what it can do to your car insurance. First, your insurance rates are likely to go through the roof. Insurance is a risk averse business. Insurance companies like selling insurance to people that are unlikely to file a claim. Being convicted of a DUI certainly raises the probability that person will be involved in a future accident.
In fact, in certain cases, a car insurance company may just drop a client completely after a DUI conviction. This can create a serious problem for a driver since it’s illegal to drive a car without insurance. Being in an accident without insurance can be even worse. Your entire savings could be wiped out.
4. A Conviction Can Be Avoided with Good Representation
These and other consequences like significant fines and community service can be avoided. Just because a person is accused of driving while under the influence does not mean a conviction will take place. However, to achieve an acquittal, proper legal representation is required.
For example, there is a lot of science involved when accusing someone of this crime. Usually this includes a breathalyzer test. A seasoned DUI attorney could prove that the test was faulty or inconclusive. The blood alcohol level may have been too low for a DUI to have occurred, or the driver’s medication may have interfered with the reading. In cases when a breathalyzer was not performed, it can be even easier to avoid a conviction since there may not be enough evidence.
5. You Could Get a Plea Bargain
In certain cases, a conviction is more likely. With a good DUI lawyer, however, you could obtain a plea bargain for a reduced sentence. This may mean staying out of jail. To get this kind of deal though, you need someone who knows how to maneuver though the legal system in a jurisdiction to obtain this kind of deal from a judge. Without an experienced DUI lawyer, you may not be able to obtain a plea deal and may be forced to live with the maximum sentence.
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