When do you need an attorney?
If you've been arrested on a California DUI charge, you need to find
a DUI lawyer. Remember, your best defense against a California DUI
charge is not to drink and drive at all. However, failing that, your
second best defense is a good DUI attorney. A California DUI attorney
can help defend you against the charges against you, especially if you
feel that you have been charged for DUI unfairly. A California DUI is a
serious charge, and you'll need the specialized help and advice that
only a legal professional can provide.
If you’ve been arrested for California DUI and you need an attorney,
Services of a DUI attorney
A California DUI charge usually involves a several court
appearances. Your DUI attorney will help you navigate through them. The
first court appearance is called an arraignment. At the arraignment,
the judge reads the defendant the charges, and the defendant (that's
you) enters a plea. After the arraignment, the next hearing you'll go
to is an administrative hearing about your license (if you requested
one). You have 10 calendar days from the date of your arrest to contest
your administrative license suspension. The outcome of the hearing does
not affect the criminal charges against you.
The next step in the criminal trial is a series of pre-trial motions, a
set of court dates in which each side of the case comes to an agreement
about what evidence can be used at the trial itself. Here, your
California DUI lawyer will help you by trying to suppress evidence
against you if there is a good legal reason to do so. During this time,
the prosecutor may decide to offer a plea bargain. Your California DUI
attorney will help you evaluate any offers you receive from the
prosecution to decide if it's a good idea to accept them or not. Then,
a court date is set. California DUI cases often go before a jury. In
this phase of the proceedings, your California DUI lawyer will help you
find the jurors that he or she expects to give you a fair hearing and
will try to get them seated. At the trial itself, your lawyer will
argue on your behalf and try to convince the jury of your innocence.
After the jury comes to a verdict, a California DUI lawyer will assist
you in getting the best possible sentence if you are found guilty.
Costs of a lawyer
The cost of hiring a California DUI attorney will depend on several
factors: where you are located, how much work your case requires, and
how expensive the particular lawyer you choose is it to begin with.
Therefore, the cost can vary greatly. California DUI lawyers are
usually pretty expensive-after all, law school is no picnic. However,
the costs of not hiring a lawyer can be far greater. When you are up
against a charge as serious as California DUI, you really can't afford
to lose out on the expert a help that a lawyer can provide.
Risks of not having a lawyer
If you choose not to get a California DUI lawyer to defend you
against the DUI charge, make no mistake: there will be nobody on your
side in the courtroom. We have an adversarial system of justice: both
sides fight it out by presenting their cases, and in theory the side
with the best case wins. How are the judge and jury going to know who
has the best case if you don’t have a lawyer to present your side of
the story? The prosecutor is there to present his side of the
case-as far as he is concerned, you're guilty, and that's that.
If the only person in the room with any legal training is the
prosecutor, you are at a much greater risk not only of being found
guilty, but of having the book thrown at you during sentencing.
The benefits of having a lawyer
Given the harsh penalties for a guilty DUI verdict in California,
the benefits of having a trained lawyer are irreplaceable. Your
California DUI attorney will be there at every hearing, questioning the
prosecutor’s evidence against you and trying to create enough doubt to
avoid a conviction. Depending on the case against you, your California
DUI attorney may be able to plea bargain to get the charges changed to
a lesser crime than California DUI, usually reckless driving. When it
comes to plea bargaining, having the advice of a trained California DUI
attorney is essential. Your lawyer can evaluate the offer to make sure
it's a good deal for you. Also, if you do end up getting convicted,
your California DUI attorney will try to keep the sentence as
manageable as possible. For example, your lawyer can argue for
home-based detention or probation instead of jail. Your attorney can
also improve your chances of getting a restricted license so that you
can at least continue to drive to and from work.
California DUI attorneys
California DUI attorneys are your best bet for getting your life
back after you are charged with a DUI. A California lawyer that
specializes in DUI law can help you secure the best possible outcome
for your DUI charge, based on your specific situation.