If you are facing a drunk or drugged driving charge in Las Flores, it’s advisable to get help from a DUI Attorney. A profound and knowledgeable attorney will minimize the consequences and anxiety that are linked to a DUI. The challenge is that many people facing these charges don’t know when to call or employ an attorney. At the San Diego DUI Attorney, we understand contacting an attorney can distinguish between going to jail, losing your driving privileges, and getting a plea deal. For this reason, we will discuss why, when, and how to hire a Las Flores DUI Attorney.
Reasons You Need an Attorney for Your Case
DUI is a dangerous and criminal activity. An arrest for this offense may result in charges whose conviction can have you incarcerated, pay huge fines, lose your driver’s license, hinder your future employability, and affect personal relations. The best way to avoid these charges is to find alternative means of transport like taxi or rideshare driver instead of driving if you have been drinking.
In the event you are stopped in traffic and arrested for a DUI, things will get from bad to worse for you. In case of a drunk driving arrest, you should reach out to your Las Flores DUI Attorney right away. Some of the reasons for needing an attorney include:
Future Career Prospects
When you are sentenced for DUI, the conviction will go to your criminal record. During recruitment, employers often run some background checks on prospective workers to ensure they hire people with no criminal record. Unfortunately, for you, if a DUI conviction appears in your record, you will lose the opportunity. If you have current employment, a DUI sentence record may result in denial of promotion because some employers check criminal records of employees considering promotion.
The information about your sentence can only stay private if the conviction is expunged. An expungement itself doesn’t come easy because it involves community service, paying hefty fees, or serving probation.
If you want to avoid all these challenges, you should consider hiring a Las Flores DUI Attorney right away after an arrest.
Retain Your Driver’s License
After a drunk driving arrest, the officer usually confiscates your license and issues you with a temporary one. The temporary license lasts for thirty days, after which it automatically expires and your license suspended. But if you have an experienced DUI attorney, you can easily avoid the license suspension.
The attorney will be valuable because he or she will request for a DMV hearing before ten days are over. You will then be represented in a DMV hearing, which means the chances of retaining your driving privileges will be high. A win in the DMV hearing means you get to keep the license while your DUI case goes through the court process.
Once the case goes to court, the attorney will come up with various defense strategies that will see the charges reduced to a lesser charge whose conviction doesn’t warrant a license suspension. With legal guidance, you may also avoid sentencing, meaning you avoid all DUI penalties, including driver’s license suspension.
But if you undergo the court and DMV proceedings without an attorney, you risk losing your license for a long time. Suspension of your driving privileges means you will have restricted driving, which will affect your family, work, and social life.
Upon DUI sentencing, you may be required to fit an IID in your car. The instrument stops your vehicle from starting if it detects any amount of alcohol in your breath after blowing. Most DUI offenders are forced to install these devices for at least twelve months. These devices are costly to install and maintain. Besides, they can cause embarrassment when you have passengers in the vehicle because they feel anxious when you are driving.
A reasonable attorney can prevent all these expenses and embarrassment that come with IID by getting the prosecution to lower the charges to an offense that doesn’t require installation of an IID as part of the penalties.
Prevent High-Risk Insurance
Being found guilty for driving under the influence affects your insurance premiums. Insurers consider you as a high-risk driver, which means you pay premiums for high-risk insurance for a minimum of three years. These fines can cause a strain in your finances, thus the reason you should avoid the high-risk insurance at all times. The best way to do this is by getting an attorney to negotiate a lesser sentence or have the case thrown it.
Lower Court Expenses
DUI court processes involve a lot of costs without mentioning the legal fees for your attorney. Upon conviction, you will pay hefty fines plus penalty assessment costs. Fines alone can affect your finances. But when you hire a Las Flores DUI Attorney, he or she could save you vast amounts of money. With proper representation, you can reduce the court fees and court fines, thus budgeting for your finances the right way.
A sentence for drunk or drugged driving in California attracts probation for at least three months. Although probation is better than having to spend time in jail, it is expensive and uncomfortable. A sentence to probation will have the judge impose some conditions on it. You may be required to take part in community service, report for probation for no less than 90 days. With an attorney, however, the charges may be lowered so that you can avoid probation. If you end up with probation as part of the sentence, an attorney may negotiate the terms of probation, thus saving you the hassle and time.
Avoid Testing Requirement
Some DUI convicts are required to undergo regular blood or urine testing. They are required to report to these facilities so that experts can determine if testing is required or not. Missing a test means that you have violated the terms of probation, which may result in the cancellation of the probation.
Adhering to these tests can be difficult considering that you have other responsibilities like going to work or school. Additionally, your license at this time will be suspended, meaning you will have limited means of transportation; hence you may miss several appointments.
Fortunately, with an attorney, the penalties may be lowered, or a conviction cleared, thus avoiding the tests. But without an attorney, you are not likely to convince the judge to reject the testing requirement.
Generally, you will need an attorney throughout the overwhelming and confusing DUI process. Working alongside someone who understands the whole process eases anxiety and confusion, making the experience a smooth one.
Things to Look for in a DUI Attorney
Despite knowing that an attorney is critical in this legal proceeding, very few Californians know what to look for when hiring a Las Flares DUI Attorney. Take note that hiring the wrong attorney is like having no attorney. People often employ the wrong legal experts in DUI cases because there are several offenses connected to drunk driving. It’s critical when hiring an attorney, you ensure that the person specializes in your particular case.
First, make sure that your prospective DUI attorney is familiar with your case and has handled a few in the past. The other thing to look for is experience and commitment. An experienced attorney is an asset because he or she will help prevent or reduce jail time. The skill levels of your attorney are essential because the last thing you need is someone who will need to outsource experts for almost everything at an advanced stage of the case.
You should understand that DUI laws differ with states and counties. For this reason, make sure you get an attorney from Las Flores because he or she will understand those specific DUI laws that apply to your location.
How to Find a DUI Attorney
Knowing what to look for in an attorney is essential. But another relatively important thing is knowing where to look for these legal professionals. Knowing the right sources will save you time and hassle involved in spotting a drunk driving attorney.
Because you are likely to have a friend or relative that has been previously charged for drunk or drugged driving, you should consider talking to them to find out the name of the attorney they hired. You should also request them to share their experiences with these attorneys to make the right choice. If these previous clients appear satisfied with their attorneys, you may consider their recommendations.
Also, from the comfort of your sitting room, you can look up various drunk driving attorneys near you and do some background checks on them to spot the best. But you should understand that not all sites are reliable when hiring. Therefore, make sure to look out for reputable websites like FindLaw. With the website, you can easily link up with a DUI attorney from las Flores.
Questions to Ask Your DUI Attorney
After relying on various websites to spot an attorney, you should arrange a face to face meeting. You will be making a mistake to hire an attorney online without meeting them. Some of the attorneys you will find out there have websites but lack physical addresses. Such people are scammers and should be avoided by all means because if something goes wrong, you may have no way of tracking them down.
Do not make the mistake of hiring someone you haven’t seen. Call the drunk driving attorneys you are interested in and arrange a physical meeting. During this meeting, be keen to ask the following questions that will help you find the right person for the job.
Background and Experience
Because you already have the name of the Las Flores DUI Attorney you are interested in, in your first meeting, your questions should be focused on their background and years of services. In California, there are many offenses and criminal defense lawyers. But you are not looking for just anybody. You want somebody to handle your DUI case.
The first question you should ask is the law school the attorney attended and where they graduated. You should pick someone who schooled in a reputable school of law, one that is accredited and recognized by the state.
Your next question should be focused on finding out if the attorney belongs to any bar association or professional group. If the answer to the question is a no, you should proceed to the next attorney. But if the answer is a yes, get the name of the bar association.
If the legal expert belongs to a bar association, the other thing you should be interested in is finding out the number of years they have been practicing. A DUI attorney who has been practicing for decades understands the DUI laws and the strategy to use at every point of the case. That way, you can be assured of a favorable verdict if, at all, the case gets to the trial stage.
Usually, when you visit an attorney, you explain your case to them. Once you have made sure the person knows what you are dealing with, you should find out the number of times the attorney has been representing people with cases like yours in the past. A reasonable attorney should give you the number and provide case files as evidence. Word of mouth is not enough to prove the number of cases handled. Corroborate the information the attorney has given by contacting these prior clients to find out if, for sure, their cases are similar to yours. You may also ask their opinion on the quality of services they received. If they all seem happy, you may be in the right place.
Similarly, it’s wise to inquire about the number of DUI cases the attorney deals with annually. If they are several, ask about the success rate of these cases. The answer to the question should inform your decision. But remember, an attorney might have a high success rate and experience but fail to devote time to your case. In these situations, it’s reasonable to ask about the number of times the attorney appears in court hearings. Some attorneys, especially law firms, have a good reputation, but they assign some cases to inexperienced attorneys instead of representing you, which adversely affects the outcome of the case.
Something else you may want to find out in this initial meeting is if the attorney has worked with a prosecutor before. A DUI attorney who knows prosecuting attorneys will quickly negotiate a plea deal before the cases get to trial.
Review of Your Case
It’s almost impossible for an attorney to provide feedback to a case if you have not explained it to them. A profound attorney will ask various questions to try and find out the facts of your case. Make sure you respond to these questions the right way. If you are interested in the attorney’s suggestions on your case, you should ask questions tailored towards that.
One of the questions you should ask is whether you can get a plea deal with your case. If it is possible, find out if the attorney recommends it or not. You may also want to get the attorney's opinion on whether your case can go to trial.
Also, you may want to find out what factors of your case are strength and then ones that are a weakness. If you are a first DUI offender, you may not be familiar with the process. Therefore, don’t forget to ask the attorney to explain the various stages of the DMV and court proceedings to avoid confusion or anxiety when the case begins.
Understanding the logistics of your case behind the scene is critical because it prevents conflicts. Understanding how your case will be managed will give you peace of mind too. You can begin by asking if the attorney is available to represent you. At times attorneys are tied up with multiple cases to the extent they can’t pick another case. Therefore, if an attorney isn’t available, find out who will take up your case. Arrange for a meeting with the attorney who will be assigned the case to ensure you are comfortable with them. Knowing the person to represent you in court is also fundamental. Speak to the attorney and find out if they will represent you in court. If not, inquire about the other person that will represent you.
Sometimes, you may have questions regarding the progress of the case. These questions can be overwhelming, so before the case begins, you should find out whom you will contact in case of questions regarding the case and how you will be contacting them.
Case updates are also important. For this reason, find out if the attorney gives updates to clients, and if so, how often does he or she give these updates. You should also know the information that will be entailed in these updates to avoid surprises.
A drunk or drugged driving charge is an expensive one. Many people give up when they are faced with these allegations because they are afraid of spending hefty amounts of money and still end up with an unfavorable outcome. Legal fees are some of the costs that make the process costly. Speak to the attorney you are interested in and find out how they charge. The majority charge on hourly rates while others charge flat rates. Each of these payment modes has its pros and cons. As such, you should find out the billing mode of your attorney and pick the option that is reasonable in terms of cost.
Another crucial thing is finding out the payment mode the attorney accepts. Again, in case you come across an attorney that charges flat rates, request for an estimate including additional costs so that you can prepare a budget.
Find the Right Drunk Driving Attorney Near Me
Many people in Las Flores facing DUI charges don’t know why, when, and how to get an attorney. If you have questions concerning the information provided above, contact the San Diego DUI Attorney at 619-535-7150 for a free consultation.