Sure, you can represent yourself in court if you’ve been charged with DUI or driving under the influence. When doing so, you could either post bail, negotiate a plea bargain, plead guilty, and if you’re fortunate enough, there’s a chance that you’ll obtain the best possible results. This is, however, the best-case scenario. So before you decide to handle your own DUI case, below are crucial factors to consider.
To Plead or Not To Plead Guilty
A BAC or blood alcohol content of .08% isn’t usually enough to warrant a conviction. So before pleading guilty, do a deep dive of all the DUI laws and penalties in your specific state to help you decide. If your BAC was significantly higher than .08%, the assistance of a DUI lawyer will help you negotiate the most favorable plea deal for your DUI case. And in the event that you end being convicted,an experienced DUI attorney in Denver, CO could help reduce your potential sentence.
Knowing How to Negotiate is Immensely Vital
If plea bargaining, the act of getting a charge lowered to a lesser charge—DUI to reckless driving for example—is allowed in your state, having a reputable DUI lawyer who knows the local prosecutors might make a significant difference in your plea bargain, as well as the penalties that you could potentially face. Aside from plea bargaining, the majority of states also allow sentence bargaining, the act of getting a sentence, which is very useful in DUI cases in which pleading guilty might lead to a very long sentence. For instance, you might be open to pleading guilty to a 2nd DUI in the event that you know exactly how long your sentence would be.
This also applies to a charge of aggravated DUI where a defendant’s BAC was higher than .15% or have resulted in injuries to other individuals or even death. If this scenario applies to you, of course, you wouldn’t want to enter into a guilty plea unless you know exactly what sentence you are getting, so help from a DUI lawyer would be extremely valuable in this case.
There are Very Harsh Penalties for Subsequent DUI Charges
Let’s say that you represented yourself in your first charge of DUI by entering a guilty plea, but for subsequent convictions, having a lawyer on your side is very important. The reason for this is that subsequent DUI offences usually involve time in jail and more severe penalties and bail. Put simply, help from an experienced DUI lawyer is especially crucial for repeat DUI offenders.
It is very hard for anyone without legal expertise or experience to evaluate a DUI case’s weaknesses and strengths. The laws on DUI are constantly changing and very complicated, and the facts of each DUI case differ from case to case. If you are 100% confident that you are fully capable of representing yourself, then, by all means, do so. Otherwise, getting expert legal advice for your DUI case from an experienced attorney is the best way to go to help make certain that you obtain the best possible results for your case.