Do most people get a attorney for their first DUI? How? 17 Answers as of May 04, 2015

I was just arrested for my first DUI. I have never been arrested or for any other criminal charge and I am scared about the consequences. They say that I blew a .09 on the breathalyzer test. I ahave heard that most people do not get a lawyer for their first DUI, is that true? Is it true that I am facing jailtime?

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Law Office of Alexis Plunkett
Law Office of Alexis Plunkett | Alexis Plunkett
It is always smart to retain an attorney if you are charged with a criminal offense. In Nevada, a DUI 1st carries a possible sentence of up to 6 months in jail.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/4/2015
Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
You are facing jail time.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 5/4/2015
S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
If this is your first D.U.I. you might be placed in the Accelerated Disposition Program (A.R.D.). If so, your trial would be held in abeyance while you attended alcohol safety class, paid a fine and court costs involved. If you successfully comply with the terms of A.R.D. your case would be dismissed and your arrest record would be expunges automatically after 10 years. If you are not in the A.R.D. program, you would proceed to trial and, upon conviction, would receive an ungraded misdemeanor on your record, be subject to up to 6 months probation, pay a $300 fine, attend alcohol highway school and be subject to treatment when ordered. It is true that people elect not to retain counsel for their first D.U.I. offense. Sometimes it works out for them, especially if they are placed in the A.R.D. program. Sometimes it does not work out. That is a decision for you to make but, if you are scared of what could happen, you might wish to retain counsel.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 5/4/2015
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
In Texas, if you are over 21 or you are intoxicated (versus just had a?drink), then it is called DWI, not DUI. You need to hire a lawyer to represent you. The legal limit in Texas is .08. The offense carries a jail sentence of up to 6 months and a fine of up to $2,000. Also, since you failed the BT, your license is subject to suspension for 3 months through an administrative proceeding. Many lawyers use the ALR proceeding?to "investigate" the DWI and whether it should go to trial so you need to hire a lawyer immediately because you?only have 10 days after your arrest to request the hearing (or your TDL will be automatically suspended on the 40th day after your arrest.)
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 5/1/2015
Ksicinski | Paul Ksicinski
No you do not need to get an attorney for your first OWI/DUI. And you do not need to get a doctor the first time you break your arm either. Unfortunately the future consequences of both actions may not make you very happy.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 5/1/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    A first offense OWI in Wisconsin is not a criminal offense. (We are unique that way, but then we have a lot of breweries.) Consequently there is no jail time available as a penalty. Consulting a lawyer experienced in the field is generally a good idea-mainly because there may be defenses of which you are unaware. And also because if you are convicted of a first offense, the second offense is a criminal conviction, carrying some jil time. Many people however, do not hire lawyer for a First Offense. If this event was a rarity in your life, and you can commit yourself to a life in which you never never ever get behind the wheel if you've had even a second beer or glass of wine, you might get by without a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Smart people lawyer up.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Chambers Law Firm
    Chambers Law Firm | Dan E. Chambers
    Many people DO hire attorneys for a DUI case or at least are represented by the public defender if they qualify. Based on your blood alcohol level, and assuming there are no other aggravating factors concerning your case, jail time is highly unlikely.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones
    The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones | B. Elaine Jones
    Pretty much any time you get arrested you have the potential for jail time. You should retain an attorney to represent you as they may be able to get the charges reduced to a reckless driving charge instead of a DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Team Green Lawyers, PLLC
    Team Green Lawyers, PLLC | James R. Daley
    I am not sure where you are getting this information that most people do not hire a lawyer for their first DWI, but it is simply NOT correct. Very few (less than 1%) of people charged with DWI attempt to represent themselves on a DWI charge. The crime is punishable by up to a year in jail, three years probation, etc.. Aside from potential sentences you are facing, there are numerous DMV regulations that will prohibit you from having a driver's license if you are convicted. The simple fact is that a DWI is NOT a minor charge. There are numerous legal consequences for you and your driver's license that an experienced attorney can help you navigate and resolve this arrest with the best possible outcome. There is an old saying in the legal field that is very true: "A man who represents himself has a fool for a client." I would never let anybody I cared about attempt to represent themselves in a DWI case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Natty Shafer Law
    Natty Shafer Law | Nathaniel Shafer
    In Utah, a person convicted of a first time DUI is often sentenced to two days in jail. I don't know if "most" people get an attorney for a DUI, but they should. It is foolish to try and fight the charge on your own. Get an attorney immediately and give yourself the best chance at success.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Ty Wilson Law | Ty Wilson
    Most Judges will make you speak with an attorney because you do face jail time. If you have no money to hire one you can speak with the public defenders office in the county where the arrest occurred. DUI's are complex and going in and pleading guilty may not be in your best interest. You stated you have not had any other problems, and if you are going to fight to keep a DUI off your record then you should fight the first one. Contact a DUI attorney in the county where you were arrested today. You may also want to get you arrest report. One other thing to think about, if they took your license you have 10 days from the arrest to file an appeal with the Georgia Department of Driver services. You should do that immediately, however speaking with a DUI attorney they can advise you more specifically on that matter. It is separate from your criminal charges. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    The Law Offices of Harold L. Wallin | Harold L. Wallin
    Virtually everyone gets an attorney for a DUI, first offense or greater. It is a serious offense, and involves technical issues of law and science. You can find an attorney by searching the Internet or calling the local bar association.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You're right. Most people don't hire lawyers for DUI. Which explains why the conviction rate for DUI is over 95%. Whether it is a first time or a fourth time, the following old saying holds true every time: he who represents himself has a fool for a client.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Jefferson and Biggs | Matthew Jefferson
    Yeah they do, and so should you. Use the Internet to find some and just start calling around. Most firms, mine included, offer free consults. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    Some people get attorneys and some do not. You should certainly consult with an attorney or request a public defender.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq. | Stephanie Lee Ehrbright
    In Arizona you are facing a minimum of 24 hours jail for your first time regular DUI. Since you are facing jail, you will be entitled to a public defender. With a .09 BAC there is a possibility you could get the DUI reduced to a Reckless Driving offense which had no jail time required. This depends on the facts of your case and what jurisdiction you are in. Consult a qualified attorney to discuss these options.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 5/1/2015
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