How to fight a DUI without a lawyer.
Uh oh. The blue and red lights are behind you, and you’ve been drinking. The police run the tests, and you’re arrested for a DUI.
Is it over? Do you just plead guilty?
No! You can fight a DUI. However, sometimes people wonder if they can fight a charge like this without a DUI lawyer.
You can go it alone… but it’s not a good idea. If you are curious about the consequences and maybe misunderstood benefits of fighting a DUI alone, read on.
Understand the Consequences
You might feel that a Driving Under the Influence charge isn’t that big of a deal. After all, people make mistakes, right?
Well, they do, but that doesn’t mean those mistakes don’t have serious consequences. If you’re convicted for the first time, there’s a fine and possible jail time and community service. You’ll lose your license for some time, and you’ll be on probation for quite a while. On top of that, the charges may impact your ability to work and creates a criminal record for yourself
If it’s your second or subsequent charge, the results of a conviction are much worse. You can spend serious time in jail, have a felony conviction, and more.
As an individual, you don’t understand the criminal system as well as a DUI attorney. It’s easy for prosecutors to make you an example by pushing for harsh sentencing.
Examine the Circumstances of the Arrest
If you decide to defend yourself, the first thing to do is look at how the arrest occurred. Did the police officer have probable cause to stop you? If you were pulled over without committing a traffic violation, the court might throw out the case.
The police also have to read your rights to you. If they didn’t completely and clearly read your rights before asking you questions, you can contest the case on those grounds.
You can also look at the accuracy of the DUI tests. A breathalyzer can be faulty, or perhaps the officer didn’t run the sobriety tests correctly. There could be rules about how long an officer has to wait before administering tests that weren’t followed.
Finally, a medical condition or other circumstance can cause a falsely high test. If you have acid reflux or follow a low-carb diet, you might have higher alcohol readings that are not accurate.
One of the benefits of working with a DUI lawyer is that they know every technicality and can help you find the small flaws that will help you.
Can You Plead to a Lesser Charge?
Many times you can avoid a DUI conviction by pleading to a lesser charge. For instance, reckless driving is a common lower conviction in place of a DUI.
If you’re unable to fight your charges with the help of a criminal defense attorney, you might decide to plead guilty to something less than DUI to avoid some of the worst consequences. However, there will still be fines and other sentencing, so be sure you fully understand this option.
While you can fight a DUI alone, you’ll generally get better results if you work with a DUI lawyer. An attorney understands all of the rules and knows what the best defenses are. They can ask the right questions and discover what errors were made that could help your case.