Published on 2/14/2022, 4:57:00 PM
Should I get a lawyer for my first DUI? Yes. Hire a DUI Attorney today.
Should I hire a lawyer for my first DUI?
This is a question I've been asked countless times. Honestly, the answer is always YES. The follow up question of WHY? isn't always as simple, as each DUI/DWI case presents unique circumstances based upon several important factors. Below I will discuss some of the considerations as to why you need a lawyer for your first DUI or DWI in Maryland.
1. The Judge is going to ask you at every hearing about your dui lawyer.
Practically, Judges always discourage pro se Defendants. "Pro se" is latin for self or "in one's own behalf. In courts this means "self-represented", or without an attorney. The criminal justice system was designed for lawyers on both sides to argue a case, and a Judge is meant to mediate their arguments. When a Defendant decides to self represent without an attorney, this often throws a wrench into the proceedings and can result in lengthy hearings on simple issues like "what do I do next" and answers like "An attorney could assist with that".
You need a lawyer for your first DUI because no one else will give you legal advice, no matter how nicely you ask. If you're asking, should I hire a lawyer for my first dui - the answer is yes - lawyers are important.
The Judge isn't going to discuss trial strategy or a plea agreement with you. He/she isn't going to explain the purpose of the hearing, or give you a hint as to what your next move should be. Ethically, he or she is bound to present you with options and ask for your decision.
This is why there are so many hearings where you are advised to get an attorney. The commissioner you see after your arrest will advise you to get a lawyer. The Judge at your preliminary inquiry will advise you to get a lawyer. The State of Maryland will provide you with a free lawyer, albeit maybe not the lawyer of your choosing.
Going "pro se" can result in some ugly hearings and an annoyed Judge. Annoying a Judge might be a mistake if they are responsible for your sentence.
Do you need a lawyer for your first DUI? Yes, because the Judge is going to ask you to at every hearing.
2. The Public Defender you get might not have time to analyze your case like a DUI Attorney can.
Both Luke Woods and Max Frizalone cut their teeth as Public Defenders. And they will both tell you, Public Defenders do not have the luxury of private attorneys with regards to preparing for cases and contacting clients.
It is common for a Public Defender to call their client the day before a criminal case is set for trial, not because they are lazy, but because they were in Court with ten clients the day before. A Public Defender is not a bad attorney, they are just an attorney who has a lot more clients than their private counterparts.
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that every Defendant facing jail deserves an attorney. Having said that, their rulings haven't spoken to the quality of the attorney you are entitled to. You could be assigned a newer public defender, lacking a wealth of trial experience, for your DUI or DWI case, because the matter will be heard in District Court. This is the lowest Court in Maryland where many attorneys make their debut.
Do you need a lawyer for your first DUI? Yes, and you need one with experience.
3. You'll be up against a professional prosecutor on your DUI case.
DUI cases in Maryland are prosecuted by Assistant States Attorneys, hired by each County's State's Attorney's Office. Their job is to ensure that you are convicted, and they've been trained on how to try cases. It may be foolish to go up against a professional prosecutor alone, without an advocate in your corner. Additionally, a prosecutor may offer a weaker plea bargain if they don't believe you intend to challenge the evidence.
Do you need a lawyer for your first offense DUI? Yes, to protect your rights and make the prosecutor respect your defenses.
4. You may be overlooking important legal defenses that lawyers won't.
There are countless DUI and DWI defenses you might be overlooking if you choose not to hire an attorney for your first DUI. Some examples include:
- Improper administration of field sobriety
- Challenging an Officer's "opinions"
- Faulty accident reconstruction
- Actual physical control of your vehicle
- Breath testing inadequacies
- Lack of probable cause to stop a vehicle
Should you hire a lawyer for your first DUI? If you don't, you could be rubber stamping poor police practices.
5. You don't want a conviction on your "permanent" record.
Maryland Judges have the unique ability to strike the conviction in your case at the time of sentencing, and awarding a "PBJ" or Probation before Judgement. This has the practical effect of ensuring that you don't have a conviction on your record, and keeps any points off your license.
A DUI Lawyer is going to tell you exactly what to do to ensure that you receive a PBJ on your case. Without an attorney, you could be missing out on this important request.
Do you need a lawyer on your first DUI? If you want a clean record, it might be the difference maker.
6. It's important you don't let a DUI Arrest take your license.
Keeping your license will be one of the most important things you can do when surviving a DUI. Licensing is handled by Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administration, ("MVA"). If you were charged with a DUI and had a valid Maryland State License at the time of your arrest, you were likely issued a temporary paper copy of your license, a DR-015A that will be valid the next 45 days. Within that 10 days of your DUI arrest it is essential that you contact a qualified DUI lawyer to analyze what potential licensing ramifications you could be facing - and how your attorney can help you at a MVA hearing.
Do you need a lawyer on your first DUI? Contact us if you think so.
7. Should I hire a lawyer for my first DUI? You have a right to represent yourself in criminal court.
While you have a right to represent yourself in criminal court, it is generally not recommended, especially if you are truly innocent. An experienced DUI attorney could better navigate the complexities of the legal system and help you make informed decisions about your case.
8. Lawyers have been through the process
DUI attorneys are important because they have been through the process many times and know how to handle various situations that may arise during your case. Their experience can prove invaluable when it comes to making strategic decisions and building a strong defense. If you don't hire a lawyer, you won't be able to challenge your drunk driving case properly.
Whether it's a first offense dui or a third offense dui, hire a lawyer - they have been though the process.
9. To obtain the best possible outcome
An experienced DUI attorney could increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case, whether it's negotiating a plea bargain, getting charges reduced, or securing an acquittal at trial. Hire a lawyer for your case so that you ensure it goes in your favor.
10. Drunk driving cases can be complex
DUI cases can be complex, involving numerous legal, scientific, and procedural issues. An experienced DUI attorney will understand the nuances of DUI law, the science behind breath and blood tests, and the intricacies of field sobriety tests. They can also challenge the evidence against you and identify any weaknesses in the prosecution's case.
11. You must have a strong defense
A DUI offense can have serious consequences, including the loss of your driver's license, hefty fines, and even jail time. To fight the charges and minimize the potential impact on your life, you must have a strong defense. An experienced DUI attorney can help you build a solid defense strategy tailored to the specific facts of your case, and find defenses you might not know exist.
12. To find the right DUI attorney
To find the right DUI attorney, you should do some research and ask for recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have dealt with similar situations. You can also search online for experienced DUI lawyers in your area and read reviews from their previous clients.
13. Make an informed decision
When deciding whether to hire a DUI attorney, you should weigh the potential benefits against the costs to find out if it's worth it for you. Consider the severity of the charges, the potential consequences, and the complexity of your case. It's important to make an informed decision that best serves your interests.
14. DUI cases require specific expertise
An experienced DUI attorney will have specific expertise in DUI cases, including knowledge of DUI laws, familiarity with local courts and judges, and experience dealing with the prosecutors who handle DUI cases. This expertise can be invaluable in achieving a favorable outcome in your DUI case.
15. Your DUI charge could affect your future
A DUI charge can have long-lasting effects on your personal and professional life. It can lead to a criminal record, increased insurance rates, and even difficulty finding employment or housing. Hiring a skilled DUI attorney can help you minimize these consequences and protect your future.
16. A DUI defense lawyer can guide you through the process
Navigating the legal system on your own can be overwhelming and confusing, especially when dealing with a DUI charge. An experienced DUI defense lawyer can guide you through the process, ensure that your rights are protected, and provide you with valuable advice and support.
In conclusion, hiring an attorney for your first DUI is a wise decision. It can help you protect your rights, build a strong defense, and increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome. Remember that every DUI case is unique, and the outcome will depend on the specific facts of your case and the skill of your attorney. So, if you're facing a DUI charge, don't hesitate to seek the help of an experienced DUI lawyer like the attorneys with FrizWoods. It's easy to obtain a free consultation, just give our firm a call.