Yes. Hiring an attorney for your first DUI has several benefits – from being familiar with the local court system to knowledge of plea bargains and complex administrative procedures. You should definitely consider retaining a DUI attorney.
You may be considering handling your own DUI case. I strongly recommend you consult with an attorney prior to doing so. If you are planning to plead guilty, an experienced attorney’s opinion may change your mind. You should review the DUI penalties and fines in Michigan. A DUI attorney can offer advice about things that could help with successful plea bargaining or reduce the severity of your sentence. For example, if your blood alcohol content was between .08% to .16%, and the breathalyzer reading was inaccurate, a DUI attorney may be able to plea bargain your case to a lesser charge.
In addition, if there is refutable evidence that you were driving under the influence of alcohol, it may be in your best interest to hire an attorney to defend you. As uncertainty about evidence increases, successful plea bargaining becomes possible. As mentioned above, if the breathalyzer reading is inaccurate, and the chemical test conflicts with field sobriety test results, the prosecution may agree to reduce the charge from a DUI to a lesser offense. It is not uncommon for some defendants to successfully handle their own plea bargaining. However, many prosecutors feel obliged to obtain a DUI conviction for the originally charged offense. Retaining an attorney to plea bargain for you can be beneficial.
You may also be wondering whether you should have a public defender or private attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, definitely request that the court appoint a public defender to your case. Otherwise, hire the best attorney you can afford. Defendants often complain that Washtenaw County public defenders don’t give an adequate defense in comparison to private attorneys. The Washtenaw County Public Defender’s Office does have excellent attorneys. But, several studies indicate that the average sentence for clients of public defenders in this country is almost three times longer than the sentences of clients represented by private lawyers. While it is true that a private attorney can be expensive, it is also true that it is an investment in yourself and your future.
If you are a second time DUI offender, you should definitely retain an attorney. Subsequent offenders are subject to harsher penalties, mandatory jail time, and fines. When searching for an attorney, hire one who specializes in defending DUI cases. Hire a DUI attorney to discuss the possible outcomes of your case.
I invite you to contact my law office to discuss your DUI case in confidence.