Finding An Attorney In Gould That Specializes In DUI/DWI: How To Know Who To Hire
It doesn't matter what state you live in, drunk driving is a serious offense resulting in misdemeanor which could lead to felony depending on the state and conditions. That doesn't mean, however, that DUI and DWI laws require you to be drunk or intoxicated in order for you to be charged and found guilty. The laws are aimed at determining whether you are able to drive a car or not, by looking at your blood alcohol level and figuring out whether it is above the state limit (0.08 percent) and whether your judgment has been impacted in some way.
If you are in the position of having to defend yourself against DUI/DWI charges, you need to get a good Gould attorney on your side. Having a quality lawyer by your side can make the difference between being convicted or walking away from the charges. You'll have a lot on the line like your job and life when you are fighting this kind of case. You need to do a search to find the best lawyer that is good at helping with DUI/DWI cases.
The following are 5 other things that you should search for when looking for the best DWI/DUI attorney to hire.
1. Free Consultation
A free consultation will always be offered by a good DUI/DWI lawyer. If you want a lawyer to work with you and they decide to, they should be willing to discuss with you what is going to need to happen. In most cases, simply call the attorney you are interested in and set up the free consultation that way.
2. Locate a Respected, Local DUI/DWI Lawyer
You will find no substitute for quality when hiring a highly respected DUI/DWI attorney. Attorneys who are from the local area are familiar with the judges that typically impose stronger sentences, and they push your case. They will also likely be familiar with the local prosecutors and this can help to keep any discussions about your case open and frank. If a prosecutor understands that your attorney means business and is not going to back down, he or she might be more willing to settle with you rather than taking your case before a judge.
3. Are They Ready And Willing To Fight For You?
Both federal and state constitutions in the USA are there to protect your rights. As an example, you have the right to have witnesses in your defense, the right to be represented by an attorney, the right to cross examine and even the basic right to a fair trial. Any attorney that you hire should vigorously defend your rights and make sure that you know what your options are as you make your way through the process.
4. Find an Attorney Who Will Collect Evidence To Prepare For Trial Even If You Are Willing To Negotiate For A Plea Deal
In order to negotiate a successful plea deal, you have to be ready to win your case at trial. Your attorney will ask the prosecution for all kinds of information. This part of the process is known as the discovery phase and it includes blood test results, police reports, pictures, videos and any other pertinent information. The lawyer you choose should look through the available information so a strong case can be built and won, even if a plea deal is being considered.
5. Will They See Your Case Through To the End?
Unfortunately, some people decide to work with a Gould lawyer solely based on the advertisements that they have seen about them, and they really don't know much else. You need to be very careful of individuals who market themselves as experienced DWI/DUI attorneys who don't intend on actually representing you in court ever.
Finding the best DWI/DUI attorney to represent you is never easy since there are so many different individuals who claim to be the best but end up falling way short of that. Luckily, you can use the information from above to help you pick out a good DUI/DWI lawyer that can represent you well.
Understanding The Legal Processes Of A DUI
If you happen to get arrested and you are then accused of a DUI (driving under the influence) this is often an extremely stressful time. You are need to learn a lot about the legal process you are about to go through. This is an overview of the course of a DUI with all its legal processes from the moment you're pulled over to the end of your trial.
1. You Get Pulled Over
When you are pulled over after you have been drinking is a very frightening time. You don't know the police officer and they don't know you. The officer will automatically err to the caution side and it is essential that you fully cooperate as soon as you have been pulled over.
After all, it might only have been a minor traffic offence, such as making an illegal turn or going over the speed limit. Keep calm and do everything the officer tells you to. The instructions are for protecting both you and the police officer.
The officer will ask you to produce a registration and license along with any proof of your insurance. Don't hesitate handing these to the officer, and follow any instructions given. The officer's intention isn't to make you angry but rather to protect you. If there are suspicions that you've been drinking, you'll be asked to go through a field sobriety test.
If you have been drinking, you should be careful not give any answers such as whether you have been drinking or where you have been. These field tests are frequently unreliable, and giving out such details will only worsen your situation. if asked, decline to give the test, since the officer can give false results.
It is usually at this stage that the officer will arrest you.
2. Being Arrested
An arrest associated with a suspected DUI is as simple as that, which means you are only suspected. It becomes complex to build up a case without a breathalyzer test or field-sobriety test. Stay calm when you are put into handcuffs and while on transit to the police station.
Don't forget the phrase - everything you say can and will be used against you. So, stay quiet, and keep your opinions to yourself. You will soon have the opportunity to contact your attorney.
3. The Booking Process
Before you arrive at the closest police station, you may be taken to the closest local hospital where you will be asked to take a blood test to test for alcohol. If you decline this test, you may risk having a suspension on your license for up to a year.
When you reach the police station, you will be given time to contact an attorney. You should not be answering any questions at this time, until such stage that the lawyer has arrived. This is the standard procedure and officers might try to convince you to provide answers, but simply avoid it.
4. Lawyer and Bail
Once your lawyer arrives, he or she will try getting you out on bail. In case you're not granted bail, then you will have a hearing within 10 days. This is known as the preliminary hearing. If your bail application goes through, you will be released, and within 10 to 20 days you should have your preliminary hearing.
5. The Arraignment
Next, you'll have an informal hearing, also known as an arraignment. Here, you will have a preliminary hearing. It is at this stage that you will appear before a judge and granted a chance to state what your side of the story is. Avoid saying anything unless your lawyer is present. Your lawyer will give you guidance on this hearing and it is very important that you follow their instructions.
It will be up to the judge to decide whether your will be granted bail or not, or whether you will be held over for a time as your hearing.
6. Your Plea Bargain
Your lawyer may at this point in time decide to have you take a plea bargain. It is where you plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for no trial. You will still face charges, but they won't be serious as the DUI charges. However, the new charges may still have serious consequences, but such consequences will be far less severe than if the case had gone to trial and you lost the case.
This is usually decided once the prosecution and defense meet and agree to what they agree on as a plea bargain. You will be given the opportunity to plead guilty, and in turn receive a lesser charge, innocent, or no-contest.
7. Preliminary Hearing
Your preliminary hearing will be the stage that a judge will go over information associated with your arrest followed by deciding whether the state actually has a case against you. The judge will weigh up the evidence provided and will make a decision on whether there is sufficient evidence and information in order to convict you. Depending on the case, the charges could be dropped at this stage, and the entire situation will be over, taking you off the record.
If the judge decides that the case shall proceed, a Pretrial Conference and Criminal Trial will be held.
8. Pretrial Conference and Criminal Trial
During your pre trial, your lawyer will try to strike-up your plea bargain with a prosecuting lawyer. They will talk with the judge to see what kind of evidence, if any, can be allowed to be presented during the trial. This conference will typically occur about 30 days before your trial date.
Even if your attorney can't come to a plea bargain with the prosecutor, you may still have one shot at winning your case in a criminal trial. The criminal trial typically means your lawyer has to prove your innocence to a jury. The jury will deliberate on the presented evidence to determine whether or not you are guilty.
If it has reached the stage that you are forced to trial, your lawyer will be forced to plead that you are “not guilty” and put all his or her efforts into proving your innocence. Based on the evidence presented by your attorney, the jury will reach their verdict. It is up to the jury to decide who to believe.
A trial starts with a jury selection. During trial, your lawyer and the prosecutor are given time to interview the potential juror. They will conduct interviews and ask questions in an attempt to find jurors that will find favor one way or another. Each lawyer is given a set amount of jurors that they are allowed to choose.
Once a jury is chosen, the trial proceeds with the opening statements. The evidence of the state will be given, followed by the evidence of the defense, and the closing arguments come last. The jury is then instructed on how it should proceed with and commence on the deliberations.
Once the jury has reached a decision, they will let the judge know the final verdict. This decision is made in front of both lawyers, you and any other individuals inside this courtroom.
10. The Sentence
If you're found guilty, the sentencing will be done in a different phase, on a different day. The judge may give you a fine, drug and alcohol treatment recommendations, mandatory insurance or some time in jail, and even the requirement to pay restitution. Your license might also be suspended for a given period.
You will then be required to fulfill all obligations that have been instituted by a court. After the stated period, you can then reapply for your driver's license.
After you've fulfilled all obligations, you may petition the court to remove the case from your record ad sometimes, they agree to do it. This is done on a case by case basis.