Do I need a lawyer for a DUI?
Well, it’s entirely possible to address a DUI charge on your own, but we do not recommend it. DUI is a serious charge that shouldn’t be taken lightly, even if you think you have everything you need to prove your case. Driving under the influence is traditionally charged as a misdemeanor in the state of Florida, but that comes with a whole host of fines and punishments. For your first DUI conviction, you could pay a fine of up to $500, serve 50 hours of probation, be put on probation, be imprisoned, have your license revoked, and/or be compelled to attend 12 hours of DUI School. The average cost of a DUI, including but not limited to fines and car insurance increases, is $8000. And that’s not taking into account the number of potential personal consequences you could face, in your relationships with people and in your career.
So when you find yourself facing a DUI charge, the last thing you want to do is to try to defend yourself without having all the information that an attorney would. I think the prudent advice to anybody would be to at least consult an attorney and get the benefit of their experience and expertise. Whether or not you choose to hire an attorney is always going to be your decision, and after consulting with one, you can use your best judgment to determine what would be best for you. One important thing to consider is whether your resistance to hiring an attorney— maybe it’s the cost, maybe it’s the time— is equal to or lesser than the risk of the potential consequences. At this firm, we handle so many DUI cases that we feel like we can bring a unique value proposition to many of our clients that otherwise might want to go it alone.
Now, of course, someone who maybe has some experience with the criminal justice system has an appreciation for the consequences that perhaps an ordinary layperson doesn't, it's free to try and navigate those channels themselves, but it's not advisable. There are a variety of ways to challenge evidence both constitutional and by statute. There are scientific methods you have to be aware of to depose certain experts and prepare defenses. These are advantages that a layperson or even someone with a bit more experience doesn’t have access to, and we’d like to give you that.
The prudent thing is to have a lawyer by your side. A lawyer can leverage their knowledge for your benefit, decreasing the risk that you’ll be convicted and face all those fines and penalties. We have competent lawyers in this office that handle DUI cases all through South Florida, and that gives us an advantage when it comes to knowing how things work locally. We've seen the different jurisdictions and seen the different police agencies. We know the different judges and know a lot of the different experts. We can bring a level of experience to the table that really benefits clients who otherwise wouldn't have that. If you’re facing a DUI charge and want the benefits that an experienced attorney can give you, give us a call, and we can start that conversation.