Driving under the influence or DUI is a serious charge. Depending on the nature and circumstances of the incident, it could be a misdemeanor or a felony. If parties other than the suspected drunk driver are injured, it could very well be a felony criminal charge. A number of other factors such as the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and his or her prior criminal record could also have an impact on the charges that are filed. Any DUI charge could potentially have serious consequences. This is why it is critical that anyone who has been charged retain the services of an experienced DUI attorney near Orange County.
Here are four reasons why you should get a DUI defense lawyer if you have been charged with drunk or drugged driving:
1. A DUI comes with serious consequences.
A DUI is much more than just a traffic record. It is something that will not just come off your record. Even a first-time conviction could have repercussions such as loss of driver’s license, attending alcohol education programs, installing an ignition interlock device in your vehicle or even losing a job or career. When you retain the services of an experienced DUI defense lawyer, you may be able to avoid a conviction instead of pleading guilty and accepting the consequences. Your attorney will be able to come up with a solid strategy to get the charges dropped or reduced.
2. Your attorney can help you get a plea bargain.
DUI cases aren’t always a slam-dunk for the prosecution. What this means is you may have an opportunity for a plea bargain, which is essentially an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant where the defendant agrees to plead guilty in return for reduced charges or other concessions from the prosecutor. So for example the prosecution might agree to let you off with probation and community instead of jail times, license loss and other consequences in exchange for a guilty plea on a lesser charge such as reckless driving.
3. Getting your sentence reduced
A skilled DUI defense lawyer may also be able to negotiate with the prosecution and bring your sentence down in exchange for a guilty plea, depending on the circumstances and facts of your case. For example, if you are facing a repeat charge, which could lead to a jail sentence, the prosecutor may be willing to reduce the sentence. This is a complicated negotiation process and is much better handled with an experienced DUI defense attorney on your side.
4. Countering breath and field sobriety tests.
Often, we see that breath tests and field sobriety tests are not accurate measures of impaired driving. A knowledgeable DUI defense attorney will be able to analyze the tests and challenge their accuracy. If you declined to take field sobriety tests, your attorney may be able to show that you did so because you knew your rights.
Regardless of the severity of the charges you are facing, it would be in your best interest to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney in Orange County who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and help get your charges reduced or dismissed.