There is nothing quite like the stomach drop that occurs when a motorist sees flashing lights in their rearview mirror. Even if they are confident that they’ve done nothing wrong, the merest possibility that something could go wrong as a result of the traffic stop that is about to occur is enough to make anyone panic.
If you’ve recently been pulled over and charged with drunk driving, you are likely overwhelmed right now. You may be feeling confused as to how you could have registered as legally intoxicated after you’d only had a single drink or you may be feeling frustrated that you had more than you should have before getting behind the wheel. Whether you believe that you’re innocent or you know that you’re guilty of the charges you’re facing, it is time to speak with an attorney. Panic and overwhelming emotions can make everyone act in ways that can make stressful situations worse. Connecting with a skilled attorney capable of mounting a strong defense on your behalf places you in the best possible position to mitigate the risk that you’ll be convicted of driving while impaired.
The Hazards of Self-Representation
As an experienced DUI lawyer – including those who practice at The Morales Law Firm – can confirm, attorneys are required to attend years of advanced schooling to earn their law degrees. They must then pass a notoriously difficult exam to earn their licenses. To keep their licenses, they must participate in a significant number of continuing legal education experiences every year. Also, the more experience a lawyer has with a certain legal issue, the more they tend to learn about how to advocate effectively on behalf of their clients.
If you choose to represent yourself in a DUI case, you won’t benefit from any of the experience or professional legal knowledge that an attorney has spent years acquiring. As a result, you’ll reduce your chances of walking away from the charges against you consequence-free.
Potential DUI Conviction Consequences
The primary reason why you need to seek the best representation you can find is that if you are convicted of a DUI offense, the consequences you’ll face could be life-altering. You may be sentenced to fines, probation, a suspension of your driver’s license, community service hours, mandatory alcohol or substance treatment, the installation of an ignition interlock device, and jail time. Your employment may also be at-risk, depending upon what kind of work you do. Finally, you’ll have a criminal record – or additional entries on a record that already exists – that could make it harder for you to secure financing, employment, housing, and even opportunities to volunteer in your community. If you’re a parent, your child’s other parent could seek to hold your conviction against you in family court.
Don’t let one drive affect the rest of your life, if you can possibly help it. Retain professional counsel and mount the strongest defense possible under the circumstances. Whether you’re innocent or guilty, you deserve the best defense possible.