Can I beat a DUI without a lawyer?
If you are charged with driving under the influence in Pennsylvania, you will face serious penalties if convicted. Having a DUI conviction on your record can also cause ongoing problems in your life. A conviction can cause problems for you when you apply for jobs, credit, and housing. If you have a criminal record, you may also face stigma and have problems in your interpersonal relationships.
The penalties you might face for a DUI will depend on your record, your BAC, and whether any aggravating factors were present. If you had a high BAC or prior DUI convictions within the past seven years, the penalties can be even more severe and include a mandatory minimum jail sentence.
Should you try to fight a DUI on your own?
Some people think that they can fight a DUI on their own because they want to save money. While you are not required to hire an attorney to defend you against a DUI charge, it is rarely a good idea for you to try to represent yourself in a DUI case. Criminal defense attorneys have years of legal education and experience in defending against DUI cases. They understand how to analyze the evidence to identify problems with how the investigations and stops were completed. A good defense lawyer will also be familiar with the prosecutors and the judges in the court where you are being prosecuted as well as the court procedures.
If you represent yourself, you will be expected to have the legal knowledge for how to admit evidence, challenge evidence, cross-examine witnesses, make objections, and follow the court’s procedures in the same way the prosecutor is required to do. Representing yourself means that you will need to understand how to analyze the evidence against you, identify any issues, and challenge the problems you find.
While it is possible for you to win your DUI case without the help of an attorney, the chances that you will prevail are low. If you try to negotiate a plea agreement without help, you are unlikely to get as good of an offer as an attorney might secure on your behalf. It is very difficult to assess evidence and to prepare a proper defense without the help of an experienced attorney.
Will I win if I hire an attorney?
A competent DUI attorney can never guarantee the outcome of a criminal case. However, securing legal advice from an experienced DUI defense lawyer is one of the first things that you do after you are charged. A lawyer at DiCindio Law can carefully analyze the evidence against you to determine the best legal defense strategies to take. When you hire a qualified attorney, you will have a better chance of securing a better plea offer or winning a dismissal of the charges against you than if you opt to represent yourself.
An experienced defense attorney will likely understand more about how DUI’s are prosecuted than most people. The legal process as portrayed on television shows is not what you will encounter in your case. Instead, attorneys spend years studying the law and criminal procedure rules to understand how to best defend their clients against criminal charges. Your attorney should also stay up-to-date with changes in the law as they occur by attending continuing legal education courses, reading case decisions, and following legislative changes to the state’s DUI laws.
How do you defend against a DUI charge?
Defending against a DUI charge will require a careful analysis of the evidence and the police reports.
Depending on your situation, some of the following defenses might be available:
- Illegal stop/No reasonable suspicion
- Unconstitutional search or seizure
- Errors in breath testing
- Errors in drawing, storing, or transporting blood samples
- Analytical errors
- Lack of probable cause for an arrest
- Mistakes made during the standardized field sobriety tests
If you do not have an experienced DUI defense attorney to represent you, identifying the defenses that might be available to you can be very difficult. Your lawyer should know how the law applies to DUI stops, searches, seizures, and investigations and understand how to challenge any errors that were made.
Can a public defender help?
If you do not have money to hire a private defense lawyer, you can ask the court to appoint a public defender to represent you. Choosing a public defender is a better option than trying to represent yourself. Public defenders are attorneys who have also graduated from law school and are admitted to practice law. The main problem with having a public defender represent you is that they have huge caseloads, which means that your lawyer may not have much time to spend on your case.
If you can afford to hire a private DUI defense lawyer, that might be your best option. Private defense lawyers are able to keep their caseloads to a manageable level so that they can spend more time on each case. This might help you to secure the best outcome for your case possible.
Get help from a DUI attorney near me
You should never take a DUI charge lightly. While you might think that you can save money by representing yourself, the long-term costs of a conviction may be much higher than you might realize. It is a good idea to consult with an experienced PA DUI attorney at DiCindio Law. Michael DiCindio is a former prosecutor and highly skilled defense attorney who understands the types of approaches the state takes when prosecuting DUI cases. Contact us today at 610.430.3535 to schedule a confidential consultation.