Driving under the influence or DUI charges are directly handled in court and considered a crime in every state. As such, if someone is facing DUI charges, they have the right to defend themselves in a court of law. For most cases, defendants will opt to hire a private DUI lawyer Jacksonville FL, but is that always necessary? When is it worth hiring an attorney?
Why You Should Get A Professional Opinion!
For people without any legal experience, especially in court, handling their own DUI case is virtually impossible. From the constantly changing laws surrounding DUIs to the actual strengths and weaknesses of the case in question, it can easily turn messy. Every case is different and unique to the individual, which is why seeking the help of a professional attorney can pay off.
Most DUI lawyers are willing to meet for a free consultation the first time you plan to discuss the details of your case. Of course, depending on the firm, you may have to pay a small fee which is still more than worth it to gain professional insight. When preparing to meet with a local lawyer, it’s crucial to bring all documentation of your case such as the actual police report and any consequent documents that may help further explain the charges against you.
Bear in mind, the consultation is just to help you gauge whether working with an attorney is right for you. At this point in time, you’re under no obligation to hire someone.
Do First-Time Offenders Need An Attorney?
If this is your first DUI offense, you are generally offered a plea deal by prosecutors. That means you’re given the option to plead guilty and take a lesser charge than is usually allowable for a first-time offender. This plea deal is only available for first-time cases that are deemed standard such as no accidents or deaths were caused, the alcohol in the offender’s system is minimal, and no prior convictions exist.
In most instances, the plea deal offered to first-time DUI offenders is the same. That means hiring a DUI lawyer Jacksonville FL is probably not a necessity. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the deal offered is usually just a starting point for negotiations. In fact, any attorney can further help you whittle down your charges, even as a first-time offender, by pointing out weaknesses in the case and bring any mitigating circumstances to light.
You Need Proper Representation For A Trial!
If you’re facing a DUI trial, it’s important to take the charges seriously and work to get proper representation in court. Theoretically, you can represent yourself as the defendant, however, it’s strongly advised against as it takes many years of experience and firsthand knowledge of the law to adequately fight charges in court. Most importantly, judges move through such cases quickly and don’t exercise any patience for those who have little or no experience in the courtroom.
Give yourself every advantage you deserve when it comes to fighting your DUI charges! With a Jacksonville attorney, you can get a lesser charge and protect your record from getting irreparably tarnished.