DUI Trouble? How a Drunk Driving Attorney Can Help You After an Arrest
If you get pulled over for driving under the influence in Texas, you could be in a lot of trouble. Depending on how fast you were going, how high your blood alcohol content was, and who else was in the car, you could face high fines, a suspended license, or even jail time.
You need to speak to an experienced drunk driving attorney who knows how to handle drunk driving matters. Often an attorney can make all the difference between doing jail time and going free. They can instruct you how to handle the situation and can guide you through ways of communicating with the court, the police, and the district attorney.
Here are five ways an attorney can help you if you have been accused of drunk driving.
1. Explaining the Situation
If you have been arrested for DUI, you may not realize the gravity of the situation. If this is your first offense, you may not understand that the penalties you face may include a fine of up to $2,000, three days to 180 days in jail, the loss of your driver’s license up to a year, and an annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years to retain your driver license.
If this is not your first infraction, you may face much more severe consequences. If you had a child in the car, it might be even worse. If you ever considered ignoring your summons hoping it would go away, a lawyer will tell you that this idea is a very bad one.
A lawyer will explain to you what is going to happen, what could happen, and how they can help you in this situation. They can prepare you for what is to come and help you see clearly how to proceed.
2. Negotiating with the DA
Many criminal charges do not end up going to trial. Even DUI charges, which are looked at very seriously by the courts, are subject to negotiations and plea deals.
Courts in Houston are like courts all over the country: their dockets are overcrowded and their judges are overworked. Many district attorneys seek ways to lessen the load on the courts by negotiating with defense attorneys in certain cases.
Depending on your record, the circumstances, and other factors, your attorney may be able to convince the DA to accept a lower charge for you, which will significantly lessen your criminal punishment.
3. Disputing the Evidence
Whether you go to trial or not, hiring a lawyer will provide you with an experienced ally who can scrutinize the evidence against you.
Maybe your breathalyzer was ineffectively given, or the urine or blood sample they took when you were in custody was contaminated or tampered with. Your defense attorney can challenge the evidence against you. If the evidence was unfairly obtained or somehow suspect, it can be excluded.
In a criminal case, the lawyer’s job is to make the prosecution prove its case. The defense attorney must also hold the prosecutor accountable for following certain rules. If the DA or the police fail to follow the rules, then they may not utilize illegally obtained evidence against you.
If the police had no reasonable reason to stop you, then their case may be thrown out. If they conducted an illegal search of your car, that may also be grounds to throw out the case, too.
Your lawyer will know how to challenge the facts as laid out by the state in a way that might convince the DA to agree to lesser charges or even throw them out completely.
4. Cross-Examining Witnesses
If there were witnesses to the event where you were arrested, they will be questioned by not only the police but by your lawyer. Your lawyer will also question the arresting officers.
A good criminal lawyer will find ways to poke holes in the testimony of witnesses against you. If someone says they saw you drinking, your lawyer may lead them to admit that they actually do not remember the exact sequence of events last night, or that they weren’t sure if the drunk person was you or someone else at the bar.
Your lawyer may also challenge the testimony of the police. If they have a dim memory of events or did not conduct the arrest according to the approved procedure, your attorney may be able to argue that they are not a reliable witness.
Your attorney may also question you. In court, they may lead you through a line of questioning if they think your explanation and demeanor may make a positive impression and help your case.
Even if you do not go to trial, you may be deposed by another lawyer or interviewed by police. Your own lawyer will be present and let you know how to answer and when not to talk.
5. Expunging Your Record
Another reason an attorney is critical if you are facing a DUI charge is that they can advise you what to do after the case is over, as well. If drinking is actually a problem for you, they may advise you look into rehabs and programs which will help you put your life on track. This kind of behavior may be favorably looked at by the courts if you later wish to have your record expunged.
A lawyer will advise you on the other ramifications of your actions. They can help with insurance claims and civil suits which may have arisen after an accident.
Drunk Driving Attorney: On Your Side
If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, it is possible you could face consequences that might affect you the rest of your life. You might face imprisonment or financial challenges. A good drunk driving attorney can help you through these difficulties.
Although retaining an attorney does cost money, the price is well worth it when it means your freedom and your peace of mind. Don’t do it alone. Get someone who knows how to help.
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