Do I need a lawyer for my first DUI? 14 Answers as of June 14, 2011

Do I need a lawyer for my first DUI?

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Lowenstein Law Office
Lowenstein Law Office | Anthony Lowenstein
Yes, a lawyer can be very helpful if there are any issues and you want to protect your record and license. For more information, please see my website or call me for a legal consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011
Law Offices of Michael Stephenson
Law Offices of Michael Stephenson | Michael Stephenson
Yes, unless you have training in the criminal justice field. The prosecutorial and DMV systems are complexed and even your average attorney is poorly-equipped to handle the intricacies of the system. You should consult with an experienced DUI attorney regarding the best course of action to get you the best deal possible.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011
LynchLaw
LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
Any time you are facing loss of liberty you should be represented. Often people take the stance that their current situation is an aberration and will never occur again. While that might be true, if something should happen in the future, a criminal history will work greatly to your disadvantage. Besides, you did not plan on this ever occurring, why should you think it is impossible to happen again.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/9/2011
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
You can do it yourself but if you can afford it we recommend hiring a lawyer, especially if there are any aggravating factors such as an accident, high blood alcohol, a child in the car or a prior conviction.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/9/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
If money is not a major issue for you it can only help to get a good lawyer. On the other hand if the stop was legal, your blood alcohol level was high and you believe that you are guilty, there are only a limited number of things even a great lawyer can do for you. It is really your call.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    It doesn't matter if it is your first, second, or third, it is never a good idea to represent yourself (unless all you want is just to plead guilty). An experienced lawyer can help you explore other options, including a reduction, dismissal, or acquittal of the charges, and to represent you at the DMV, which will go after your license separately. Contact a lawyer ASAP, as you have only 10 days to request a DMV hearing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    The obvious answer coming from a DUI lawyer such as myself would be yes. However, let me try to be a little more helpful with my response. Ultimately, whether or not you should hire a DUI lawyer on a first time DUI depends on a number of factors as follows: 1) what you hope to accomplish; 2) are you comfortable representing yourself; and 3) the facts of your case just to name a few. What I can say is that whatever the best result for your case may be, an experienced DUI attorney is the only way to ensure that you get it. I think in order for you to make the right choice for you, you should contact two or three DUI lawyers who have extensive experience in the court in which your case is filed to thoroughly evaluate your case and determine what defenses you may have and what is possible for you. Most, if not all, DUI attorneys offer free case evaluations so you have nothing to lose by doing so and I think this will really help you make the right decision for yourself. I hope this answer was helpful. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Komanapalli Massey LLP
    Komanapalli Massey LLP | Mark A. Massey, Esq.
    Depends. Do you wish to have a chance of getting off or at least of receiving a reduced sentence along with being fully informed of what is going on, your options and so on? Or, would you prefer to risk serving fully the maximum sentence without even knowing you had alternatives, of being pushed along through the process like a number nobody cares about? If the former, yes to lawyer. If latter, don't bother, or stick with a PD.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    You have three options: 1. represent yourself. Not a good idea for many reasons - mainly that you will never know if you have any defenses you're giving up or overlooking. You won't know the procedures, laws of evidence or criminal procedure to know how to defend yourself. 2. Go with a public defender. If you truly cannot afford an attorney, you can request the services of the public defender. Downside? They have too many cases to devote much time to any one case. Other downside? They cannot and will not represent you with the DMV in the suspension hearing. 3. Hire an attorney. You can then choose the attorney you want to represent you and they can also fight the DMV in the license suspension hearings. Don't miss the 10 day window to contest the license suspension from the DMV. You only have 10 days to request that hearing or your license will automatically be suspended.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo | Matthew Murillo
    You don't NEED one. Will it help? YES! Especially if the arrest was recent. In a DUI arrest, you only have 10 calendar days to preserve your right to a DMV hearing. Without that hearing, the DMV will automatically suspend your license based on the arrest. An attorney can request that hearing for you at the appropriate DMV Driver Safety office and will be able to subpoena evidence and any witnesses necessary to competently defend your license. If you want any chance at maintaining your license, you should at least consult with a couple of attorneys about your case. DMV hearings, just like Court hearings, can be very complicated and involve many technical defenses when it comes to DUI charges.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas | Thomas Ogas
    Maybe. It depends on if you care about what happens to you in court or not. If nothing else, you should go get a free consultation to find out what is likely to happen to you if you plea guilty in court. Heck, get two consultations if you don't trust the first guy. Some DUI cases are ordinary and easy to predict. Some cases are unusual and unpredictable. So go talk to someone about your case and find out what you have and what you're looking at.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Christine D. Thielo
    Christine D. Thielo | Law Office of Christine D. Thielo
    If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you need an experienced and aggressive DUI attorney. A DUI conviction can seriously and negatively impact your life. With the help of an experienced and knowledgeable Attorney, you could greatly increase your chances of avoiding harsh and unnecessary penalties.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Not if you know how to effectively represent yourself against a professional prosecutor trying to convict you and put you in jail. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Keep in mind a little free advice: When you are arrested for DUI, whether alcohol or drugs, then upon release from jail or booking you were given documents that included a notice that you have only ten days to file a request with DMV for a hearing on an appeal of an automatic one-year suspension of your license imposed by DMV. That is separate and runs consecutively with any suspension that may be imposed by the court. Contact DMV and do so, timely, then appear at your scheduled DMV hearing and present any supporting evidence and testimony. If you don't know how to do these things, then hire an attorney that does. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
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