#1 Rated DUI Attorneys
Have you been charged with a DUI? You came to the right place. DUI attorneys may dramatically lower your legal fees, penalties, and possibly have your case dismissed. Connect with free attorneys to discuss the next best step. Protect your future!
Driving under the influence (DUI) refers to any situation where you are arrested for driving with an intoxicating substance in your body. The most common example of a DUI is driving while drunk. If your blood alcohol levels are 0.08% or higher, you are legally considered impaired and will be charged with a DUI. Each state has additional laws regarding DUI. In some states, you are guilty if you have any illicit substance in your system, while other states use different criteria to determine whether you were fully impaired. Some states are also more lenient if you have a prescription drug in your system.
The penalties also vary depending on the state, but in 2021, more states are issuing harsher sentences. First-time drivers are charged a fine, typically ranging from $500 to $1,500. Their licenses are also suspended for a short period, usually between one to two months. Some states require drivers to use an ignition interlock device for a year. Many states also assign community service. Future offenses carry stricter penalties, including jail time and possible suspension of your license.
Hiring a DUI Attorney
If you are charged with a DUI, you can hire a DUI attorney to represent your case. There are many ways a DUI attorney can assist you, starting from the moment you are charged. Many insurance companies attempt to trick drivers into admitting fault the moment they are charged. If you admit to fault, insurance companies can charge you more because you are considered an at-risk driver. If you were involved in an accident, insurance companies are even more likely to press for you to admit liability. Driving under the influence is not covered under your insurance, since you are considered at fault, so your insurance company does not have to pay out for any of the damages.
An experienced DUI attorney will represent you in these circumstances and keep insurance companies from strong arming you into a confession. DUI attorneys also represent you in the courtroom, where the prosecution will also attempt to get you to confess to driving under the influence. Even if you are guilty, a DUI attorney will fight on your behalf and attempt to get reduced charges. This can make the difference between whether you get jail time, or what kind of fine you must pay.
Even if you want to represent yourself in the courtroom, a DUI attorney can help in other ways. In a DUI case, there is plenty of legal paperwork which must be complicated at specific deadlines. Making even one error in these documents causes the process to start all over, and you may even be charged with late fees. It also hurts your defense if the forms are not correctly filled out. A DUI attorney will walk you through the paperwork and ensure all the information is correctly entered.
Fighting a DUI Charge
If you are wrongfully charged with a DUI, your attorney can fight on your behalf to get the charges dismissed. There are several situations where you may be wrongfully charged with a DUI. In some instances, police will charge you with a DUI even if you were a passenger and not behind the wheel. Police will attempt to coerce you into pleading guilty in these cases, promising lesser charges if you agree. This is not legal, and you can only be charged with a DUI if you were the one driving. Once you plead guilty, it is much harder to retract the claim, which is why it is important to hire an attorney the moment charges are leveled against you.
Another circumstance where you can get a DUI thrown out is if the police officer did not have the right to pull you over. Police must follow specific legal procedures to pull you over. The exact procedures vary depending on the state. Without proper legal knowledge, it is difficult to prove whether you were illegally stopped.
A DUI attorney can also argue whether you were impaired when you were pulled over. This requires gathering evidence, such as witness testimony or video recordings. If you were not actively swerving on the road and were not speeding, your attorney may be able to prove you were not under the influence. There are also certain medical conditions that may cause you to appear intoxicated but do not actually cause impairments.
Free DUI Attorneys
The cost of a DUI attorney varies based on location as well as whether you were previously charged with a DUI. The complexity of the case also determines the price. If you hire a DUI attorney to help you submit a plea and get a reduced sentence, the average cost is $700 to $1,500. If your case goes to trial, the cost increases to $1,500 to $4,000. There are attorneys and firms that provide pro bono services for DUI cases free of charge.
While you are being charged, you have the option of getting a free public defender. Public defenders are not as experienced as DUI attorneys. They are also some of the busiest lawyers and typically do not have time to spare for DUI cases. There are several resources you can use to find DUI attorneys in your state. The National College of DUI Defense and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers both provide resources to find a DUI lawyer. Your state bar association also has a list of attorneys.
Do not make the mistake of hiring the first available DUI attorney. Most law firms provide a free consultation, where you meet with the prospective lawyer and discuss your case. This gives the lawyer a chance to present a basic plan and explain how they will represent you. It also gives you the chance to ask questions. Make sure you are working with an experienced attorney. Do not be afraid to ask about previous cases. Another important question is whether the attorney plans to handle the case directly, or if he or she will appoint a paralegal or other support staff to handle the case. Finally, ask about any fees, including both upfront costs and whether there are additional charges at the end of the case.