If you have gotten a DUI, you might be wondering if you need an attorney to represent you. Some people may tell you that you can do it yourself because they have a friend that was able to represent themselves, but is it actually true? A DUI can be expensive and can seriously impact your life.
A DUI is a serious charge that a dui lawyer virginia beach va can help present your case to minimize the impact that it has on your life. Your future could depend on the outcome of this case as it will appear on your criminal record forever. It’s important to note that having an attorney does not guarantee that you will not face jail time or lose your license, but they can drastically improve the odds.
While a first DUI is usually considered a misdemeanor, this isn’t always the case especially if there are extenuating circumstances. Some of these can include having an accident or a very high blood alcohol content. Other factors may lessen your penalties such as if the arresting officers did not correctly follow procedures. An attorney could help determine if any of these factors are relevant to your case and present them in an effective way in court.
Is It Time to Plea?
If you know that you are guilty and don’t have much of a defense, accepting a plea bargain may be the best route to take. When pleading guilty, prosecution generally will hand down fewer charges with fewer penalties. An attorney can help you decide if this is the route that you should take in your particular DUI case.
There are some factors in a DUI that could make pleading guilty the wrong option, especially if you know you aren’t guilty in the first place. Some of these include a blood alcohol content that is below the legal limit and field sobriety test results that may be faulty. If procedures were not followed correctly or you don’t think your blood alcohol content test was accurate, your DUI attorney can help to fight your case an get it thrown out or reduced.
There is also a term in Virginia known as “wet reckless”. This term means that while there was alcohol involved in the driving incident, the charges are usually much less than a DUI. If the state that you were arrested in doesn’t have a wet reckless charge, there is still a chance that you can get the charge lowered to reckless driving instead of a DUI. While you can possibly have a good outcome from a plea bargain without an attorney, if the facts in your case are not clear or you don’t know how to present them properly, getting the help of a lawyer could drastically improve the odds on your case.
In the end, the judge in your case decides what punishment you will receive for your offense. Some judges will almost always sentence first DUI’s to the same punishments no matter what the circumstances. An attorney will let you know if this is your situation.