Ten thousand five hundred eleven people died in 2018 from accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers. As a result, the law punishes people when caught driving impaired.
If you’re caught driving under the influence, the court might charge you with a DUI or DWI. When this happens, you might wonder if you should hire a DWI Austin attorney.
After all, do you always need a lawyer after a DUI?
In most cases, you should hire one, but here are some factors you can consider to help you decide if you need one.
You Have No Legal Knowledge
One of the top reasons to hire a DUI lawyer for help is to have someone with legal knowledge assisting you. A DUI attorney in Austin has the legal credentials and experience needed to help you fight your charges.
Many people decide to face criminal charges alone, including DUI charges. They feel like they can handle it themselves, and many want to save money.
After all, hiring a DUI lawyer isn’t free, but wouldn’t you prefer having legal counsel when going to court hearings?
If you handle the case yourself, you might make mistakes during it. The trouble with this is that these might be costly errors. You might end up paying more money or spending more time in jail.
When you experience an event, such as a DUI, it requires legal help. Therefore, handling it on your own might prove to be a big mistake, so you might want to think about this if you’re trying to decide what to do.
You’re Considering Pleading Guilty
There are times when people encounter DUI charges and decide to plead guilty to them. Is this ever a smart move? Is this what you’re thinking about doing?
You always have the right to plead guilty to the charges if you want to, but you don’t have to plead guilty. In fact, most attorneys suggest pleading not guilty.
You waive the right to fight the case or accept a plea bargain if you plead guilty from the start. Instead, you take the charges as-is and accept the punishment the court prescribes for you.
If you’re considering pleading guilty, you might assume you don’t need an Austin TX DUI attorney. However, the truth is that you still need one even if you want to plead guilty.
Your attorney can help you with your plea and might be able to get the charges reduced. Your attorney might also talk you out of pleading guilty by explaining the pros and cons of this choice.
If you’re unsure about how to plead, talk to an attorney before deciding. When you speak with a lawyer, you’ll learn all your options before making a choice.
This Isn’t Your First One
Getting one DUI is not good, but the consequences are far worse when you’re a repeat offender. A repeat offender is someone who gets a second, third, or even fourth DUI.
To understand the severity of multiple DUIs, you’ll need to understand the consequences for DUIs in Texas.
For your first DUI, the court might require that you pay up to $2,000 in fines and spend up to 180 days in jail. You might also risk losing your driver’s license for up to one year.
In most cases, a first DUI is a misdemeanor. As you encounter more DUI charges, the court might prosecute them as felonies. If this is the case, you’ll need a felony DUI attorney in Austin.
People who get three DUIs might face up to ten years in jail and pay up to $10,000 in fines. They might have other consequences, too. If you get more than three DUIs, you’ll face even worse punishments.
You should consider hiring a DUI lawyer if this is your first DUI, but you should definitely hire one if it’s not your first.
You Want to Minimize the Consequences
As you face your DUI charges, what is your goal? If your goal is to minimize the consequences of the charges, you’ll need to find a good DUI attorney in Austin, TX.
An attorney’s role is to assist you with the charges, and the goal is to help you obtain the best outcome possible. One way attorneys do this is by finding ways to minimize the charges and consequences.
For example, pleading guilty to the charges might result in receiving the maximum punishments. If you can accept a plea bargain, you’ll still plead guilty. However, the court might lower the charges and consequences.
If you choose to represent yourself, you might not know this is an option. However, even if you know about this option, you might not know how to pursue it. Your attorney will know, though, and will help you fight it.
You Need Your Driver’s License
As you can see above, getting a DUI might result in losing your driver’s license. If you can’t afford not to have a license, you’ll need an Austin DUI attorney for help.
One thing your DUI lawyer can do is to fight this part of the consequence. If successful, your lawyer might be able to get your driver’s license back faster.
If you have multiple DUI charges, this might be more challenging. In this situation, your attorney might suggest applying for a provisional driver’s license.
A provisional license gives you the legal right to drive to and from specific places, such as work. It might also let you drive your children to school and go to other places, such as church or the doctor.
If your main goal is to keep your license after a DUI, don’t attempt to fight the charges without legal representation.
Hire a DWI Austin Attorney for the Best Results
Hiring a DWI Austin attorney is almost always the best way to handle any type of criminal driving charges. When you have an attorney working on your case, you’ll get the best results possible.
Are you ready to hire a DUI attorney? If so, contact us. James Fletcher attorney specializes in DUI cases and can help you with your case.