It's no secret that getting charged with a DUI is complicated, overwhelming, and downright scary. That being said, it's an extremely serious event that should never be taken lightly. In the chaos of the moment, you may not know what to do when you are charged with DUI, but there are some critical mistakes you should avoid. Here are just a few of them.
Not taking it seriously:
DUIs should always, always be taken seriously. A DUI conviction will never fully disappear and will continue to follow you and affect your life for years and years to come. The costs associated with the conviction are outrageous; your insurance premiums can exponentially increase by 400% or more, you may need to pay for alcohol counseling, lawyer fees, court fees, license reinstatement fees...the list goes on and on. The bottom line is that a DUI conviction can cost $20,000 or more, and it should never be taken lightly.
Choosing the cheapest lawyer:
When you're looking for DUI attorneys, don't just automatically choose the firm that quotes you the lowest fee. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and a DUI court case is not an event where you should try to save money. If an attorney is quoting an extremely low rate, chances are they're either inexperienced, can't fully commit, or are just not properly equipped to handle your case. A confident DUI attorney will always tell you exactly why you're being charged with the specific amount. If an attorney seems cheap, run the other way.
Some people think it's wise to save money by representing themselves during the trial. It should be obvious that hiring a highly qualified DUI attorney is the only way to maintain competent and confident representation. DUI laws are complex and take years of studying to fully comprehend. If a judge sees you representing yourself, they're not likely to take you seriously, and they definitely won't give you the benefit of the doubt. You'll be expected to know the rules of evidence and the corresponding law. If you don't raise the proper defenses, you'll lose your case. Hiring a knowledgeable and trustworthy DUI attorney is the best way to get what you're entitled to.
Ultimately, getting a DUI is overwhelming, but taking the right steps is absolutely critical to ensuring a better outcome. For more information about what to do when you are charged with DUI, contact Rhett Bernstein.