Drunk driving is a serious crime in every state. However, as per the DUI laws, you don’t need to be drunk or intoxicated to be guilty of DUI charges. Instead, these laws measure your ability to drive a vehicle by determining whether your blood alcohol level exceeds the limit. This limit in Florida is .08%.
The consequences of a DUI charge differ from state to state. Various factors such as age of the driver, blood alcohol content (BAC), DUI arrest history, and whether you caused injury/death while driving under the influence often influence the consequences of a DUI charge.
Deciding whether or not to hire a DUI lawyer Gainesville FL is a personal choice. Here’s what you should know before doing so.
What Does a DUI Lawyer Do?
Generally, a DUI attorney looks at the range of possible consequences for each client. They determine how to minimize the damage to those clients’ lives & livelihoods. Very often, a DUI lawyer will assess a client’s situation to determine the potential DUI charges.
However, every DUI charge is different & it makes sense to ensure your situation doesn’t cause you to live with the penalties or long term consequences.
This is one crucial role a DUI lawyer plays for their clients.
They will assess your DUI case
Due to the different circumstances in every DUI case & the varying laws, a DUI case’s possible consequences are dependent on various factors. An experienced DUI lawyer will help you understand the potential fines or jail time that may be a consequence in your case. They will also explain the impact of any consequence that comes with subsequent drunk driving convictions.
They make the process manageable
Dealing with Gainesville, FL’s motor vehicle department can be frustrating & time-consuming. A DUI attorney can manage the process for you by completing the paperwork, scheduling and/or representing you at the motor vehicle department suspension hearing, and making other necessary arrangements. Besides this, an experienced lawyer knows the ins & outs of the courtroom. They may even obtain a lesser sentence for you if your situation & state laws allow for it.
How to Determine if You Need a DUI Lawyer?
Here are some guidelines to determine whether you need a DUI lawyer:
Definitely– Hire a DUI lawyer:
- If you already have several DUI charges in your name.
- If your arrest was a result of an accident causing damage or injury/death.
- If you’re a driver by profession, whose livelihood depends on keeping your license.
- If you’re facing jail time or hefty penalties, handling your case on your own does not make sense.
Seriously Consider– Seriously consider hiring a DUI attorney:
- If this is your second arrest in DUI charge (in the same or another state).
- If your BAC limit was over double the Florida’s legal limit as harsher penalties may apply.
Good Idea– You should hire a DUI lawyer:
- If you don’t understand your rights or the state’s DUI laws.
- If you’re unsure about the impact of the consequences, you may face.
- If you are (or plan to be) in a profession that requires bonding. As any criminal conviction might prevent you from getting or keeping a professional license.
Represent yourself only if;
- This was your first DUI
- It didn’t cause any damage, injury/death
- Your BAC was low
- You are not concerned about the conviction and the effect on your record
However, since most DUI lawyers in Gainesville FL, don’t charge anything for an initial consultation, it makes sense to contact one & find out whether your case is the one where representing yourself could be a reasonable option.
Drive safely and responsibly. Contact us if you are facing DUI charges.