If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, you may be asking yourself, Do I need a DUI attorney? Here’s the answer: you need a DUI lawyer. Why? Because the chances are good that you’re going to botch your case if you handle it yourself. Keep reading to find out the 2 reasons you need a DUI attorney to win your case.
Why You Need a DUI Lawyer
1) Legal Loopholes
In America, you only get convicted of a crime if the prosecutor can meet the legal burden of proof – beyond a reasonably doubt – by introducing admissible evidence. What this means is that you can still win your case, even if you were in fact drinking and driving. To do so, you’ll need to exclude evidence that tends to show you’re guilty. This is the first reason you need a DUI attorney: to take advantage of legal loopholes.
In a DUI case, the evidence is fairly straightforward: the results of a breath or blood test, the arresting officer’s testimony, and maybe some dash-cam footage. If you were indeed drunk, this evidence will be fairly compelling. The test results will show your BAC was over the legal limit, the officer will testify that you reeked of booze and slurred your words, and the footage will show you stumbling all over the place. Not good. So how do you go about excluding this damning evidence?
That’s where a good DUI lawyer comes in. There’s an entire field of criminal law — 4th Amendment — that deals with illegal searches and seizures. In short, if the police violate your constitutional rights during the arrest process, they cannot use the evidence they collected at that time. This is called the exclusionary rule. What this means for a DUI case is that if the police illegally pull you over or illegally arrest you, some of the evidence collected by the police may not be introduced at trial.
Another way that evidence can get excluded is through regular rules of evidence. These include chain of custody, authentication, expert testimony, etc. A DUI attorney will be able to identify any potential issues with these various rules.
These rules are highly fact specific. Which means you’ll need a very good DUI lawyer to spot any issues. Once your DUI attorney is able to identify these issues, you’ll have a strong position in plea bargaining. The prosecutor will probably be more likely to reduce the charges or the sentence — or drop them all together –if your DUI lawyer can make an argument about evidence that should be excluded.
2) DMV Issues
The second reason you need a DUI lawyer is because your DUI case is really two cases: a criminal case and a case with your department of motor vehicles. Failing to take care of the DMV side of the equation can result in losing your license, even if you win your criminal case. Whereas the criminal side takes some time to play out, the DMV side can move very quickly. For example, in California, you only have 10 days to request a DMV hearing if you want to avoid having your license suspended.
Additionally, the DMV side is completely different than the criminal side. It’s an administrative forum governed by different statutes and regulations. It’ll likely take a DUI attorney to save your license, if it can even be saved.
Find a DUI Lawyer Near Your!
Use the Google Custom Search Box below to find a dui lawyer near you. I recommend you get as specific as possible. This will help narrow the results.
I hope I convinced you that you need a DUI attorney. If you like this post, please share it.
And if you’re interested in the topic, here’s my post on how to avoid a DUI.