Although the evidence may appear overwhelming against you, never accept the findings of the arresting officer without first seeking legal help. Your local DUI attorney will be able to consult with you and help you to get a favorable resolution even though things may look bleak at the moment.
Here are seven questions to ask any DUI attorney before retaining their services.
1. Will You Analyze Other Evidence Than My BAC Number?
Although you may think that you are cooked because the arresting officer has enough evidence to show you were drinking and driving, your DUI attorney sees things differently. There are many variables in your case that need to be addressed, so you want a skilled attorney exposing the truth before you are subject to harsh penalties. Your DUI attorney is going to dig deep and analyze the police dash cam to see why you were pulled over, how you were treated, which field tests were administered, and why certain tests were neglected during the arrest.
2. Can You Get the Officer on the Stand?
In an effort to get the officer to help your case, your DUI attorney will simply subpoena them to the more informal license hearing to ask them questions. There is nothing gained at this hearing other than your lawyer getting inside the officer’s head to see if they did or felt anything that night that might be used against the prosecution. If something contradicts the actions of the officer the night of the arrest, poking holes in the prosecution case get easier.
3. Can You Help Plea Bargain My Case?
Regardless of the evidence, the judge gets the final say in your DUI case. Your DUI attorney will be analyzing all the evidence in the case and when they have everything they need, will present an offer to the prosecution in an effort to get a better outcome. If your attorney is not able to get the charges dismissed or lowered thanks to evidence, they rely on their negotiating skills to try and get the other side to come to an agreement where both parties feel like they have won something and the case can be closed.
4. Do You Have Courtroom Experience?
Although it might appear at the start of your DUI case that all the evidence is against you, that is because your DUI attorney has not had the opportunity to begin working on your defense. All the burden falls on the prosecution, so your DUI attorney only needs to begin the process of poking little holes in the case so that the judge has the opportunity to reduce the sentence or possibly dismiss the case. While you might think the evidence is overwhelming against you, your DUI lawyer has courtroom experience in their corner that can swing this case to your favor easily.
5. Can You Dispute the Equipment?
While it might seem impossible to poke any holes in the prosecution case when you are not working with a lawyer, your DUI attorney is experienced at doing things to help with your case. By researching the testing equipment that was used and highlighting instances where the reading was incorrect, you could get a lighter sentence. Your DUI lawyer will also question why certain field tests were administered over ones that are more accurate with other drivers.
6. What If I Can’t Afford to Pay Up Front?
Your DUI attorney will tell you up front all the different payment options available to you so that you can retain their services and not have to worry about hurting yourself financially. Your DUI attorney may simply ask for collateral, take payments, or allow you to pay nothing up front but everything when the ruling is handed down.
7. Can I Keep My Driver’s License?
Depending on your specific case, your DUI attorney is going to do everything possible to make certain you keep your driving privileges. Once the prosecution lays out their case, your attorney will first try to poke holes in their case, then try to plea bargain down to a reckless driving, which carries a lesser penalty and allows you to keep your driving license.
These are seven smart questions to ask a DUI attorney before simply choosing one based on an advertisement or referral.