Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense under California law. If you are charged with a DUI offense, it is advisable to get a DUI defense lawyer to handle your case. Even if this is your first offense and the charge is a misdemeanor, a guilty verdict may come back to haunt you in the future. A San Diego DUI lawyer is knowledgeable about the law specific to your charge and will work with you to get the best possible results.
Reasons you need a San Diego DUI Lawyer
There is nothing in law that will prevent you from representing yourself at a DUI hearing in court; however, here are some good reasons you should hire a lawyer instead:
- Complex legal system – The criminal justice system is not set up for the average person to understand all the technical procedures involved from the first hearing on a matter to the end. The state will be represented by a lawyer – the prosecutor – who fully understands the system and will use that to try to prove your guilt. You need someone on your side that will put you on equal footing in the courtroom. Defense lawyers are exposed to years of training to understand the system and you should take advantage of that knowledge.
- Varying penalties and consequences – DUI offenses carry varying penalties, inclusive of fines, jail time, probation, and enrollment in an education program. But whether it is your first, second, or third DUI conviction, the suspension of license is the common penalty associated with DUI offenses. The penalties become more complex depending on your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of arrest and whether anyone was injured as a result of your actions. There are a number of aggravating factors that will increase your penalties, even if it is your first charge. A lawyer with experience in DUI matters will be able to evaluate your matter and advise you on the available defenses.
- Knowledge of the law and available defenses – The law prohibiting DUI may seem very simple to the average person. However, it involves a number of moving parts and procedures that must be adhered to secure a conviction. In many instances, a lawyer can get charges dismissed or significantly reduced. If the matter must go to trial, there are a number of legal defenses that may be available to you. A DUI lawyer is equipped with years of experience and knowledge in relation to available defenses and how to research and prepare your case to secure a the best possible outcome for you.
- Minimizing the consequences of a conviction – In many cases where the defendant is sure of guilt, he or she will not see the purpose in retaining a lawyer. However, being guilty of DUI is not the end of the road in legal representation. A lawyer can present arguments and evidence why you should be treated with leniency. There are a number of options that may be available to you if you are found guilty or want to plead guilty. Many of those options if not presented by a lawyer will not be considered by the court. A DUI lawyer will be able to negotiate on your behalf. Always remember that the prosecution will want to go for the highest possible penalty available and your San Diego DUI lawyer will be working to get you the lowest possible sentencing. Without a lawyer, you could find yourself behind bars because you had no one to negotiate on your behalf.
The common reason for avoiding a lawyer is mainly the cost. However, the number of benefits to having a lawyer present with you in court is worth the money. The alternative could be even more costly.
Things to Consider When Hiring a DUI Lawyer
There are many lawyers to choose from when trying to hire a San Diego DUI lawyer. However, the decision is a serious one and you should take the time to consider the following factors before opening your wallet. You don’t want to be changing lawyers during your case, so it is imperative to get it right from the start.
- DUI experience – It is important to consider a lawyer who has extensive defense experience. This will help with your attorney’s ability to quickly assess your case and get to work on getting your charges dismissed or preparing a sound defense. The more experience your lawyer has in criminal defense, the better he or she will be able to represent you in an effective way.
- Strong courtroom advocacy – If your matter should go to trial, you want a lawyer who is skilled at courtroom litigation. Since your lawyer represents you in court and speaks on your behalf, you want to consider the courtroom experience of any lawyer you are thinking to hire to represent you in your DUI case.
- Availability – There is nothing wrong with a busy lawyer. However, if your lawyer is not available when you need him or her, that can spell problems for you. Choose a lawyer with whom you can communicate and who is available to give your case the amount of time it will need.
Hire McElfresh Law For Your San Diego DUI Case
At McElfresh Law, we have worked for years representing clients charged with criminal offenses. Our knowledge of the law is extensive and we pride ourselves on providing high-quality legal representation to all of our clients. Our first goal is to work to get your charges dismissed or reduced. If your matter must go to trial, we are equipped with the type of courtroom advocacy that you will need.
We know that this can be a very troubling time for you and your family and our trained and professional legal staff is here to ensure you receive DUI representation that delivers value for money. At McElfresh Law, we want you to get back to your life and to move past your criminal charge. Call us today at (858) 756-7107 and let us discuss how we can become your San Diego DUI lawyer of choice.