DiCindio Law LLC | November 17, 2021 | DUI
Many people who are arrested for DUIs in Chester County might not know what to do. Some hesitate to talk to criminal defense attorneys because of concerns about the expense. They might also think that they should just plead guilty to get the case behind them faster or believe that they can defend themselves without help.
While you are not required to retain a lawyer to defend against your DUI charge, trying to represent yourself or entering a guilty plea without legal representation can result in harsher consequences than you might otherwise face. When you are facing any type of criminal charge, it is important to do everything you can to prepare a strong defense and protect your rights and freedom.
A DUI conviction can have far-reaching impacts on your life even beyond the criminal penalties you might receive. You could lose your job and have trouble finding new employment. A DUI conviction will give you a permanent criminal record that landlords, employers, banks, and insurance companies can see when they conduct background checks. Your insurance rates could go up and remain high for several years, and your insurance company might choose to terminate your policy.
In Chester County, a first-offense DUI conviction can result in a sentence of up to six months in jail, a fine of up to a maximum of $5,000, a 12-month license suspension, drug and alcohol assessment, and other penalties that depend on your blood alcohol concentration. It is unwise to try to defend against a DUI on your own without the help of an experienced attorney. Here is some information from Chester County DUI lawyer Michael DiCindio with DiCindio Law about how retaining an attorney can help with a DUI charge.
Expense of a Conviction vs. Expense of a Lawyer
While retaining an attorney costs money, being convicted of a DUI can be more expensive over the long term than the cost of an attorney. If you are convicted of a DUI, you will have to pay stiff fines, higher insurance rates, and might be ordered to install an ignition interlock device in your car at your own expense. A DUI conviction could cause you to lose your job and result in limited job opportunities in the future.
Some people believe that entering a guilty plea will save money because they think that being charged with a DUI means that they will be convicted. However, a good Chester County DUI lawyer can defend against the allegations and could help to avoid a conviction, helping to avoid some of the long-term costs.
Your attorney might be able to secure a plea agreement to a non-DUI offense or a reduction in the assessed penalties. If this is your first DUI, you might qualify for a Chester County DUI program called Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD), which can shorten any period of license suspension, keep your DUI off of your criminal record, and ensure that you will not be sentenced to jail.
A DUI conviction can make it hard for you to find a good job, get to and from work or school, find a car insurance company, or get the apartment or house that you want. If you are a licensed professional or have a commercial driver’s license, you could lose your career. Entering a quick guilty plea can cause repercussions that you might not initially realize. A DUI attorney can help you to mitigate these risks by aggressively defending against your charges.
Knowledge and Experience Are Invaluable
Defense attorneys go through years of legal education and must pass difficult tests to practice law. They have in-depth knowledge of the laws and courtroom procedures. They also understand how the police are supposed to conduct DUI stops and investigations and can carefully review the facts of your case to challenge the way the officer pulled you over, administered the field sobriety tests, gave the Breathalyzer test, and other issues in your case. Because of their knowledge and experience, DUI defense lawyers might be able to secure a much more favorable plea agreement than you might secure on your own, and depending on the facts, an attorney might win an outright dismissal of your case.
The prosecutor assigned to your case will be happy for you to try to represent yourself. However, doing so is not a good idea. Even attorneys who are charged with DUIs choose to retain DUI defense lawyers to represent them. This is because it is difficult to be objective about your defense when you are the person who is facing charges. It is best for you to talk to a defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest for help with a DUI.
Ways a DUI Attorney Can Help in Chester County
There are multiple ways a DUI attorney in Chester County can help you fight your case, including the following:
- Reviewing the evidence to identify problems in the state’s case
- Applying the relevant case and statutory law
- Explaining your charges and the potential penalties
- Filing evidentiary motions to challenge the admissibility of certain types of evidence in the case against you
- Identifying and implementing the best possible defense strategies
- Helping you to apply for the ARD program
- Representing you at an administrative hearing on your driver’s license
- Securing a favorable plea agreement through negotiation
- Potentially winning dismissal of your charges
- Appearing on your behalf and speaking for you in court
- Helping you to understand whether it makes sense to take your case to trial
- Litigating your case for you
If you are facing DUI charges, getting help from an experienced DUI lawyer is a good idea. Simply because you have been charged does not mean that you will be convicted. With the help of a strong defense lawyer, you might secure a better resolution to your charges and might win a dismissal of the charges against you.
Contact Our DUI Law Firm in West Chester, PA
If you are facing criminal charges and need legal help, contact the West Chester, PA DUI lawyers at DiCindioLaw, LLC to schedule a free initial consultation.
DiCindio Law, LLC
29 S Walnut St
West Chester, PA 19382
***This blog article is made available by the law firm publisher for educational purposes and to provide general information, not to provide specific legal advice. By reading, you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the publisher. The above-listed information does not include the entire criminal code, annotations, amendments, or any recent changes that may be relevant. The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Please contact DiCindio Law, LLC for a consultation and to discuss what law is relevant to your case.***