A DUI is not like a traffic ticket. It’s a very, very serious charge. If you’re found guilty you could (depending on state laws and other factors) lose your license, pay steep fines, be required to attend instructional and alcohol recovery lessons, or even go to jail. And if you head into that courtroom without a lawyer, then you’re very, very likely to lose your case.
There are good reasons for the steep penalties our governments have for drunk driving. Drunk driving is a deadly mistake, and one that can harm other people as easily as it can harm the person making it. Every year, nearly 40 percent of car crash deaths are caused by drunk drivers. That makes drunk driving the single biggest cause of accidents. The death toll includes plenty of innocent people whose only mistake was being on the road at the same time as a drunk driver.
Drunk driving is becoming less common, but it’s still a mistake that a startlingly large number of us make. You may not have meant to hurt anyone when you got behind the wheel drunk, but doing so put you in a group of people that collectively end and ruin lives out on the road. It was a very, very serious mistake.
Drinking too much too often drink too much is bad for you and has serious health consequences. And when you do drink too much, you’re more prone to make poor decisions beyond the initial consumption of alcohol. Alcohol recovery programs can help to address this habit. Never get behind the wheel while intoxicated — and, in the age of ride-sharing apps like Uber, there’s really no reason that someone should ever even consider it.
But shaping a better future for yourself and others doesn’t have to mean throwing yourself on the mercy of the court. You can protect your own legal future, academic and job prospects, and reputation by defending your rights in court and fighting for the best possible outcome. That could mean a guilty plea, a not-guilty plea, or some kind of plea bargain. Neither you nor we know what the best course of action is for you — only a trained DUI lawyer will, which is why you are in desperate need of one.
Lawyers who specialize in DUI cases in your area will be familiar with the laws, procedures, and perhaps even the people who will decide your fate in court. A lawyer familiar with your case will be able to help you communicate with the authorities and prosecution when necessary (you should never, ever talk to those people without an attorney present — so clam up until you get one!). They’ll be able to advise you on your rights and your options. They’ll defend you in court, help you strike a deal, and/or help you get the most lenient possible sentence.
Getting a good lawyer may not be as tough as you imagine. You’ll find plenty of qualified attorneys in your area. Check out their websites and advertisements, and make sure that they are specialists who know DUI law in all of its specifics. Read online reviews and, if you happen to know anyone who has been in a similar situation, ask for recommendations.
You’ve made a big mistake, and you need to work to improve your habits and your life. But you can and should defend your future at the same time by hiring a lawyer. Only a lawyer can give you legal advice relevant to your case, and only a lawyer can give you the best possible outcome in this difficult legal situation. Get one as soon as possible.