If you are arrested for DUI, you may feel tempted to fight your DUI charges without a lawyer. You may feel confident that you can successfully represent yourself and save money on attorney’s fees at the same time.
While you are certainly entitled to represent yourself in court, you should know that the odds of winning your DUI case drop severely without the guidance of an experienced lawyer.
What are your odds of winning your DUI case without a lawyer?
Extremely slim. Legal research indicates that roughly three-fourths of individuals without a lawyer end up with a conviction. This conviction rate was significantly higher than the conviction rate of people who hired a private lawyer.
Why is it a bad idea to fight a DUI without a lawyer?
Fighting a DUI case on your own is a bad idea because you likely don’t have the time, training, or connections to map out and execute a strategic plan. DUI case results clearly show that people who hire lawyers have better DUI case outcomes than those who don’t. Here are some of the many reasons why you may choose to forego fighting a DUI without a lawyer.
1) You lack legal experience
You may think you can simply read the free legal information available online and use it to represent yourself in the courtroom. But while some free information is available, it’s important to remember that the free information online may or may not pertain to your case.
Every case is unique, and only an experienced lawyer will know how to look for key details that will help you avoid harsh penalties and win your case.
2) Securing relevant evidence won’t be easy
Unless you are a trained DUI lawyer, you may not know where to begin to defend yourself. An experienced DUI attorney, on the other hand, will be able to review the details of your case and know exactly what evidence to gather to help you dispute your DUI charges.
For example, they may obtain video footage, copies of your police report, your medical records, and the results of your Breathalyzer or blood test. Moreover, they know exactly who to call to secure that information quickly.
3) You aren’t trained to spot key loopholes
Some DUI cases are won due to technicalities. Others are won because the driver’s rights were violated. And courts dismiss many other cases because of other factors, such as:
- Contaminated or inaccurate blood tests or Breathalyzer results
- A law enforcement official who failed to follow Miranda rules
- The driver was pulled over for no valid reason
Unless you are a lawyer or have a strong working knowledge of DUI law, you likely won’t know how to look for these factors that could potentially result in your case being dismissed. A skilled DUI attorney, on the other hand, will know exactly how to spot holes in your case and can use them to help you avoid a conviction.
4) Your employment or family life could suffer
Beating a DUI case takes time and preparation. If you are like most people who are arrested for DUI, you have employment responsibilities and a family. Finding spare time to research your case and prepare for court may prove to be more challenging than you ever imagined.
By hiring a lawyer whose full-time job is to fight to help people overcome DUI charges, you stand a better chance of securing a positive outcome.
5) You may incriminate yourself
Anything you say in the courtroom could be used against you. And if you lack legal experience, it’s easy to mistakenly say something that may end up incriminating you. To make matters worse, opposing lawyers can spot an inexperienced defendant right away. They will do their best to ask questions or make statements that may cause you to say something you may regret, or to elicit an incriminating response.
Is it really less expensive to fight DUI charges on your own?
No. You may think you are saving money because you don’t have to write a check to a lawyer. In reality, you greatly diminish your chances of a desirable outcome for your case if you try to represent yourself.
And with a conviction more likely, you could leave yourself more susceptible to:
- Insurance costs that may increase by thousands of dollars
- Significantly higher court costs
- Costs related to mandatory ignition interlock devices
- High transportation fees that could result if you lose your driving privileges
- Diminished income from a job loss due to your conviction
In addition to these costs, you could experience anxiety and stress as a result of your conviction. Given the high likelihood of these costly losses, the long-term financial benefits of hiring a DUI lawyer far outweigh any initial attorney’s fees you would need to pay.
What is the best step to take if you face DUI charges?
The single best step to take after a DUI arrest is to reach out to an experienced DUI lawyer. Do not attempt to fight charges on your own, or you may find yourself more likely to face a costly and devastating conviction.
With a skilled DUI lawyer on your side, you can rest assured knowing that an experienced legal professional will bring your case to the best possible conclusion. Your lawyer will guide you when you need it most and know exactly how to boost your chances of a successful outcome.