If you have been charged with a DUI, you may consider handling it without hiring a lawyer. While this may work in theory, it will likely be a different story in practice. There are things that a trained legal mind will catch that regular citizens may not be aware of. To beat a DUI charge in court, a Washing state DUI criminal defense lawyer is your best bet.
Do I Need a Lawyer for my DUI Case?
The short answer is yes. A DUI charge can alter your plans for the future. Even a first offense can cause problems like the following:
- Professional licenses can be revoked.
- Loss of educational opportunities since some schools do not admit those with criminal records.
- Missed work for serving time in jail can result in lost wages and sometimes job termination. Employers do not often hold a job for someone who is in jail.
- Family upheaval
- Disqualified from being able to participate in an adoption
- Custody issues
- Expensive fines, treatment programs, and devices like ankle monitoring systems and ignition interlock devices can sap your money quickly.
- Future charges could be much more severe because you will have a prior criminal record.
With so much at stake, hiring an attorney is a small investment to help you avoid the harmful impact a DUI conviction would have on your life. From the arraignment phase, the evidentiary hearing, the pretrial hearing, and the actual trial, a capable criminal defense attorney will understand the process and know how to navigate it in a way that best benefits you.
What Does a DUI Attorney Do?
A DUI criminal defense attorney understands the legal system. There are several actions they could take for your benefit. The following are a few examples of things an attorney can do for you:
- Analyzing the arrest, including why you were pulled over, your field sobriety test, and the chemical ones. An experienced lawyer will know how to look for discrepancies that can be used to your advantage.
- Your attorney will review the evidence the prosecution has against you, like police reports, witness testimony, video, and photographic footage of the traffic stop and arrest. There are things that laypeople would not know to watch catch when investigating on their own.
- Lawyers are expert negotiators. Your attorney may negotiate with the prosecution to reduce or dismiss the charges against you or secure a plea bargain deal in your best interest.
- In the evidentiary phase, a criminal defense lawyer will challenge any evidence that may have been obtained illegally or may be violating their client’s constitutional rights.
- Your lawyer can advise you of the potential consequences of a conviction so that you are well informed about jail sentences, suspended licenses, fines, and other penalties.
- They will cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses to prove your case.
- Sometimes, they can assist their clients in getting the treatment and counseling they may need and, in the process, have the charges against them reduced or dismissed.
- Administrative proceedings can be complicated especially surrounding a suspended driver’s license. A lawyer can help navigate it.
- At every stage of the legal process, your attorney will advocate for your best interests.
How do You Get a DUI Dropped?
Your attorney will study your case and come up with a strategy to have your case dismissed. This could be by convincing the judge that the traffic stop wasn’t legitimate. The case will be dismissed if the judge believes there was no probable cause to stop the defendant.
If the accuracy of the sobriety testing is in question, the charges against you could also be dropped. The timing of the test matters, as does the testing process, and the testing devices must be properly calibrated. If these are not done appropriately, the charges against you may be dismissed.
Your lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea bargain for you. You would agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduced sentence.
What are the Chances of Getting a DUI Case Dismissed?
Due to technology like bodycams, dashcams, and breath and chemical tests, fewer DUI cases are dismissed these days. To get a case dismissed, you need a lawyer who understands how to interpret the evidence so that they can best argue for a dismissal.
What can a DUI be reduced to in Washington state?
Your Washington state DUI criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate a reduced charge for you, like reckless or negligent driving. These offenses carry much lighter penalties than a DUI conviction.
Contact our DUI Defense Attorneys
If you have been accused of a DUI, reach out today so that we can investigate your case and formulate a plan to fight the charges against you. Our legal team will not let you go through this challenging time alone. We will be at your side from arraignment to dismissal or trial if it comes to that. We are ready to do what it takes to ensure our clients receive the best outcome imaginable.