According to the Center for Disease Control, over three thousand lives were lost in alcohol related incidents in the state of Louisiana from 2003 – 2012. As it turns out, many of these were fatal vehicular accidents resulting from the unfortunate decision to drink and then get behind the wheel. In order to combat these deaths, the state of Louisiana vigilantly fights the epidemic of driving under the influence of alcohol. In the state of Louisiana, the Department of Motor Vehicles says that drivers under 21 years old found to have a blood alcohol content of at least 0.02% and drivers 21 years old and over with a BAC of at least 0.08% will be charged with DWI. In the event that you are arrested and charged with a DUI, the consequences can include the following, depending upon whether or not this is your first, second, or third offense:
- Jail time
- Large fines
- Suspension of license
- Possible criminal record
If you are arrested for a DUI, you must decide whether or not you want to hire a lawyer to present and defend your case in front of a judge. Though you have the option and right to represent your own case, the team at Russell Law Firm strongly advises you to seek professional counsel.
Why do you need a DUI lawyer?
It’s not because we want your money. It’s not because we want to waste your time. It’s because we are trained on how to examine the evidence that the State plans on using against you, how to attack that evidence, and how to take other necessary action to build a strong defense against your charges. A strong defense usually places you in the best position to negotiate a plea deal or potentially have the charges dismissed.
What about representing yourself in a DUI case?
A quick online search presents a few scenarios in which you might fare okay representing yourself. Perhaps it is your first offense and there were no injuries, or perhaps your BAC was so high, and the police officer has a very strong testimony regarding your obvious impairment. These factors can all come together to present a pretty damning case, and many feel the temptation to just plead guilty and take the standard sentence. After all, if a lawyer can’t help you, why pay the fee?
- Trained Eyes
As it turns out, you might have missed something, and by representing your own case, you forgo the opportunity to have a licensed professional catch a detail/evidence or a portion of the law you missed, that could help you get a plea deal or reduce your sentence.
- Relationships and Familiarity
Lawyers are familiar with the law. They are also familiar with how certain judges interpret laws and are likely to rule on each given case. Further, most defense lawyers usually deal with the same assistant district attorneys on DWI cases, which allows the defense attorney to know what to anticipate from the district attorney’s office on your particular case. For instance, the defense attorney will know what information the district attorney’s office will likely exchange and what recommendations he/she will likely make to the judge for plea deals or sentencing. Having that type of insight is very beneficial in preparation of your defense. Feels like maybe it needs another reason? A DUI charge is jarring, especially if you’ve never seen the inside of a courtroom. At Russell Law Firm, we know they can happen to anyone – including fantastic people who make one bad decision. We’re not here to judge you. We are here to help you secure the best possible defense in a system that can understandably evade and overwhelm those who haven’t studied the law. We know that a DUI is an expensive charge to take on. That is why we offer a 100% free consultation. We’ll talk you through what you have been charged with, your options, and how we can help you get through a difficult time. If you are in a tough and frightening spot right now related to a DUI charge, give us a call today.