How could a DUI attorney help if there is overwhelming evidence? 79 Answers as of July 03, 2013

I failed both the field test and breathalyzer. I know I made a dumb decision and was pretty drunk at the time. My question is how could getting a DUI lawyer help my case if there is overwhelming evidence against me? Is it even worth the fight?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
Not withstanding how bad the evidence against you appears you have the right to put the government to the test and/or or seek a plea bargain or some type of diversion program. The services of an attorney who is skilled in the defense of DUI cases could be most helpful.
Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
Replied: 9/5/2011
Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
It might seem to you that the evidence is overwhelming, but to a trained professional who has knowledge in the laws and experience in sifting through reports and lab results for errors, your case may not be as clear cut as you think it is. There may even be grounds to argue that the stop was bad and therefore no probable cause for the stop so the DUI has to be dismissed. There could be any number of possibilities. Also keep in mind that failing the FBT and PBT are not conclusory proof of your guilt. You can refuse both of them and your refusal cannot be held against you. It all depends on what the DataMaster shows and that can be subject to error and not being properly maintained or serviced which could render inaccurate results. There is a lot at stake for a DUI including: possible jail time, probation, fines, costs, community service, vehicle immobilization, license suspension and other sanctions, and higher insurance premiums. A good DUI attorney will more than pay for himself in what he can save you. He also knows how to argue for better deals and which deals are good and which ones are not. There may be motions that could be made on your behalf that could lessen the strength of the case against you. Don't be so automatically dismissive of retaining an attorney can think that it's a closed case against you. That's a mistake that far too many make. At least have a DUI attorney review the report to give you an overview as to how strong the case is against you.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/24/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
August 18, 2011 You have very little chance of preventing a conviction without an attorney. With an attorney you may have a chance of resolving the charge without a conviction or you might get a better deal on a DUI charge.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/19/2011
Lewis & Dickstein, P.L.L.C.
Lewis & Dickstein, P.L.L.C. | Loren Dickstein
A great DUI lawyer can be very helpful no matter what the evidence is. Many times, for example, I am able to get evidence thrown out, discredited, suppressed or dismissed. In those cases where there is absolutely no defense, I can usually arrange for a charge reduction (plea bargain) and a sentence that is less severe than it would be without me there.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/18/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
In most cases, you cannot know whether there is a challenge to the offense before looking at all of the available discovery. if one misstep in the process fro the stop to the arrest to the testing may result in suppression of evidence or dismissal of the case. Even where available defenses are weak, taking an aggressive stance with counsel may often prove valuable in avoiding greater consequences such as jail or fines.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/18/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    First of all, all hope is not lost. The state must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. DUI law is peculiar in as much as it takes a certain amount of scientific expertise to defend such cases. There are arguments that can be made based on the legal requirements for admissibility of the test and the meaning of the field tests. Moreover, there may be physiological reasons why your breath test was high unrelated to alcohol consumption. At a bare minimum, an attorney can potentially save you a day in jail and hundreds if not thousands in fines. DUI convictions are forever and cannot be expunged like some other offenses. You owe it to yourself and your future to consult a qualified DUI defense attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Having an attorney could prevent you from going to jail, or losing your license for an indefinite period of time. This is a criminal offense, which can haunt you for the rest of your life. Although you feel you are in a no-win situation, a lawyer may find technical reasons why the case should be dismissed, or may get you a good deal on a plea bargain. The investment is well worth it. Get a lawyer!
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    The Law Firm of David Jolly
    The Law Firm of David Jolly | David Jolly
    Every DUI case has errors and most cases can be argued (some more successfully than others). The State/City has a difficult burden and must follow protocol and procedures properly to prove a case against a DUI defendant. If such procedures were not followed correctly by the officer, then there is hope for a much better result. Also, police officers are human and do make mistakes. Second, some police officers do not know DUI protocol as well as others. Lastly, a DUI lawyer has many jobs. First, get you a better results. Second, protect you from the prosecuting attorney and judge (i.e. ensuring that penalties are "reasonable"). Third, helping you through the process to make a stressful situation easier. A good DUI attorney will help you!
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
    There is always a possibility that a lawyer will get a better deal in one way or another. In your case, if the blood alchohol level is high a nasty judge might be thinking jail time. A lawyer could most likely avoid that. Of course the down side is the expense. The more evidence the D.A. has the less a lawyer can do for you. If you had an unlimited amount of money it would be an easy decision. If not, you need to weigh the pros and cons.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    An expert in any field has the training and ability to provide assistance even in situations that appear to be more straightforward. OUI law is complicated. Simply because a person is charged does not mean they are guilty of any offense. They may only be actually guilty of a lesser offense or no offense at all. Effective legal advocacy can make a big difference in the outcome of case. I'd recommend you retain an experienced OUI attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Sometimes the fight is not over guilt but punishment. Might see if you can get a free consult and what the attorney believes he may be able to do based on the facts of your case. Use a local attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    The Raggio Law Firm, P.C.
    The Raggio Law Firm, P.C. | John Raggio
    What may appear to be "overwhelming evidence" at first glance may not necessarily be as compelling as it seems. Every case presents unique facts and circumstances that should be evaluated by an experienced attorney. No case is unwinnable.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Shane Law Office
    Shane Law Office | Robert J. Shane
    The problem is that only a DWI attorney can determine whether or not your case is worth fighting. An experienced criminal lawyer may uncover defenses that are unknown to a lay person, even when the evidence against you appears overwhelming. There are many cases where an experienced DWI lawyer can make the difference between a permanent conviction on your record and the complete dismissal of the charge.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    In a case such as yours, the attorney can be of most help by first reviewing the evidence to make sure it is admissible. If the evidence was collected in an inappropriate manner, it may be inadmissible and cause the DUI case to fall. If the evidence is ok, his next concern is to negotiate wherever possible to obtain the least possible sentence for his client.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    There is frequently overwhelming evidence in DUI cases. Your attorneys job is raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence, facts and sympathies are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. The attorney will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction, or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. The DA will deal with your attorney, but has no interest in talking to ProPers.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    First, it is always worth the fight. That is my opinion and I base that on several factors: the officer that arrested you - has he been disciplined, has he been caught lying on the stand, is he one of the few (they are indeed few but they do exist) that the District Attorney will not sponsor? What about the stop, was it justified, legal, etc. Was the breathalyzer calibrated? Was it operated by a certified officer? Was the test done properly? Do you have any exacerbating medical conditions such as diabetes or lap band in the past, do you take MAO inhibitors, or any other medication that could affect the results or your reaction to alcohol? Second, a good lawyer that a District Attorney respects or reasonably believes will take a case to trial, even one where there is overwhelming evidence against the defendant, can get a better plea offer than a lawyer that is known to plea everything or a pro se defendant. Plus you will be facing a possible driver's license suspension, could you acquire an occupational license without a lawyer's help? What about the ignition interlock device, will it be required or discretionary to the Judge? I explain it like this: I love basketball. I follow the NBA with enthusiasm. I played in high school and I understand the mental side of the game. Finally, my dream is to play a game of one-on-one against Jason Kidd but I have no false hope of winning that game. He is a professional, he plays basketball for a living (and he is paid a lot for that privilege). Although I may score one or two baskets, I am supposed to loose because he does this for a living and I do it for sport. The same applies to appearing in court without a lawyer. You can represent yourself, and you may even make a few good points, but in the end, you are playing a game against a professional that makes his or her living playing the game. You are supposed to loose. The only way to even up the odds is to take another professional with you. (Similar to my showing up to play Jason Kidd with Chris Paul or Derrick Rose to assist me. I may win a game of doubles with one of these players helping me - assuming Tony Parker is not playing on Jason's side.) Keep in mind, you need a lawyer that knows DWI/DUI law and tactics, someone the District Attorney respects as a "trial lawyer" not a "plea lawyer" even though there is a good chance based on your assertion of overwhelming evidence that you will indeed plea the case. A trial lawyer will get a better deal or at least look at all the options before you decide to accept any plea offer. A "plea lawyer" as we call them just plays the odds and numbers, it is all about volume, accept and plea cases fast, do as little as possible and play to the numbers. If all you want is for this to go away cheaply . . . too late for that, DUI/DWI is expensive, there are administrative fees, classes, probation fees, court cost, etc. even if you do not hire a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You are more worried about the fee than the fight. I have seen this attitude for 27 years. People don't call a doctor, dentist, or lawyer until a problem is way out of control. Free doctors and free lawyers are sometimes able to get you good results, but they can also be overworked and underpaid. You get what you pay for. Most people are guilty as sin and would be convicted if taken to trial. Fortunately the law allows the prosecutor the option of offering a reduced plea, a dismissal of the charges, or a delayed sentence to show that you completed a program, and then they reduce or dismiss the charges. Your attorney may be able to have the case reduced to a violation of 1192-1 Driving While Impaired. It is not a crime, it is a violation and you will not have a criminal record. This is available for a case that is a first offense and below a .18. For second offenses or very high BAC aggravated DWI cases the sentence and plea are much worse.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    That there is overwhelming evidence of guilt is even MORE of a reason to retain counsel, because we can have it suppressed. Call us if you want competent skilled DWI counsel on your side.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    A DUI lawyer will be able to help you approach the case with the intention of allowing a conviction, judgment etc to have the least possible impact on your current life and your future. For instance, a DUI lawyer will be able to assist you in accepting a plea deal or negotiation for a reduced or deferred sentence to make sure that you do not unintentionally keep yourself from being able to have the conviction expunged from your record in the future. A DUI attorney may also be able to negotiate pre-trial to have your charges reduced in return for participation in a diversion or alcohol-counseling program.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    There are several things that an attorney could do. Why were you stopped? Did they have a right to stop you then? Were there any mitigating circumstances? What is your record? Maybe he can get a deal to a lesser charge or an agreement to keep you out of jail?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Grantland, Blodgett, Shaw & Abel
    Grantland, Blodgett, Shaw & Abel | Gregory M. Abel
    The procedures that must be followed by the state to admit breath test results into evidence are precise. Any deviation can result in test results being thrown out. Only an experienced DUI attorney will know whether or not the law was followed.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    Depends on a lot of facts. Maybe the police didn't have a basis to stop you, and there are scientific issues with both the field sobriety tests and the Intoxilyzer. If this is your first offense, it's a lot more likely that the right decision is to do diversion, though.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Braunstein Law, PC
    Braunstein Law, PC | Jacob Braunstein
    It is always worth the time to at least speak with an attorney to see if there are any possible defenses, evidentiary issues, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    There may be overwhelming evidence against you but a lawyer ensures that evidence was obtained lawfully and that proper protocol was adhered to. At the very least, take your police report to an attorney. She can give you a better idea of whether you should fight the criminal charges against you or save the money and plead guilty.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    He or she may be able to find issues in your case that you are not aware of. He or she may be able to negotiate for a lesser penalty. He or she will be able to help you arrange alcohol evaluation, alcohol information school, victim's panel, etc. that you will be required to complete. He or she may be able to assist you with Department of Licensing issues. You don't need a lawyer, but its probably a good idea to have one.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Yes, you will still benefit from hiring a DUI attorney. One who represents himself has a fool for a client.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Thank you for your inquiry An attorney can verify your beliefs and explain what options you have. Your case could be investigated to see if there are any flaws in the prosecutor's case. Also, beyond considering whether a trial could get you a dismissal, possible pleas could be explored to see if the consequences could be lessened. In addition, possible actions could help to lessen the possible sentence you face. Alternatively, if you are well versed in the law and facts, and you are set in your conclusions of guilt, then no attorney can give you any options that would change your mind. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Offices of Christopher Jackson
    Law Offices of Christopher Jackson | Christopher L. Jackson
    Even if you think there is overwhelming evidence against, sometimes a lawyer may think otherwise based on their investigation. Nevertheless, even if the lawyer can not find any defense for you to beat the charge, a lawyer can help you reduce the penalty, avoid jail, minimize the fine, reduce the license suspension, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Kentucky
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    An experienced DUI attorney who is respected by the DA prosecuting your case can help minimize the consequences (possibly lesser charge, assist with license revocation hearing, help with keeping conviction off your record).
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Dichter Law Office, PLLC
    Dichter Law Office, PLLC | Jonathan Dichter
    Any DUI case has issues we can work with - we can minimize penalties and consequences - you don't know if there is overwhelming evidence until you consult with an attorney. In short. It's always worth the fight.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Watkins Law Office
    Watkins Law Office | Bob Watkins
    There are cases where a valid defense may not be obvious to you. There may be issues that only a knowledgeable and experienced attorney would note.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    I would need further information to see what, if anything can be done. You should hire an attorney even if you are not going to go to trial, an attorney is usually able to get you a better plea bargain with lesser charges and/or lesser penalty than you could do by yourself. The prosecutors and judges do not like to deal with pro se defendants( people who represent themselves ). They like to deal with attorneys.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    A skilled DUI attorney can normally get a lesser charge or sentence, reduced fees or fine, help you obtain or maintain you license in the shortest amount of time and effort, and walk you through the legal mine field unharmed. Pleading guilty does not make the matter go away anytime soon, nor mean you won't have to face the increased punishment that DUI' convictions mean today. The savings in court costs and fees should make up for any expense of a lawyer. One can always treat him or herself, but it is always better to have your own expert. Anyone who had a good lawyer on their side will tell you that it was a huge benefit!
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    It's a question of whether it is worth the money to you to have a good attorney make sure that you receive the best possible disposition and sentence given all the circumstances of your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Depending on your prior criminal history and the results of the breath tests, an attorney might be able get the charge reduced.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Without reviewing the police report it is difficult to answer this question. It is possible that an attorney would not get you off but would assist you through the process and may be helpful at sentencing.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
    It is always helpful to have a lawyer who knows the law, rather than a person who thinks he knows the law. The lawyer may find constitutional issues regarding the stop, and other evidence issues regarding the field sob testing and the intoxilizer testing that a layman simply does not understand or know about. Even with what a person thinks is overwhelming evidence, cases can be negotiated to reduce or eliminate mandatory jail sentences, to get people into alternative sentences and structure the fine payments. Without a lawyer you will never know.
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    Just because the evidence seems overwhelming does not preclude the fact that there may be technical defenses. A DUI attorney can review the case and find defenses that your average person may not be aware of. I suggest you consult an experienced DUI attorney to discuss your case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of Nixon Ayemi | Nixon Ayeni
    Your DUI lawyer will know how to navigate the court system and how to plead out your case should you choose that route. Your lawyer is better equipped to fight the state.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    Lawyers do more than just try cases. We can review the evidence to see if thereis a defense or a technical problem in the state's case you don't know about.There are several potential problems with field sobriety tests and breath testing machines that are not known to the general public. The officer may not have followed proper procedure, or may not have been properly trained. Even if the case is not tryable,we can try to negotiate a more lenient sentence for you. At least consult with an attorney before you go to court.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    There are often technical defenses to DUIs that you would not know about. One little mistake by the police can give you a solid defense, even if you were drunk. You should at least talk to an experienced DUI lawyer before you just go plead guilty.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    A lawyer can help minimize the damages from the fines and other sentencing penalties. A lawyer may also be helpful depending upon what kind of test you took and how bad the result was.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Nichols Law Firm
    Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
    Overwhelming evidence means nothing if it is not admitted. Mike Nichols
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Aaronson Law Firm
    Aaronson Law Firm | Michael Aaronson
    It's always worth the fight because you're facing many potential issues, such as jail time/probation, fines, loss of drivers license, points on your driving record, etc. a competent lawyer will investigate every way to save you from these detriments.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    They can help by walking you through the process and making sure you get treated fairly. You never know what will happen after you are arrested or cited for a criminal offense. Most DUI's are pretty clear cut, but that doesn't mean there is not some wiggle room for negotiation. Also, DUI laws, at least in Nebraska, are extremely long and convoluted. A DUI lawyer can help you understand what the heck is going on and make sure you take advantage of any opportunities you may have within the system. Lastly, DUI's are being taken more serious than ever now; an attorney will also be there with you at sentencing to help make sure you get the best sentence possible from the judge.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    First of all, you have to understand, that 95% of all DUI cases have "overwhelming evidence." Prosecutors like to win, so a great great majority of the cases in their hands are winners and not dogs. With that said, you need to understand that the worse the case, the more you need an attorney, because the more you will need an attorney to use unconventional methods and read between the lines. As for the DMV hearing, it is very technical, and many times winning issue(s) have nothing to do with DUI.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    If you plead guilty then it is clear that you will be found guilty. If you plead not guilty, then nothing is clear. Many people "beat" DWI charges when they have failed the breath test. And, is your view that you failed the field sobriety tests because the officer said so? If so, be aware that that is what they ALWAYS say. Who cares?! If you are not indigent then you must hirea lawyer. What can a lawyer do for you? Depends on the county but you might be able to get lesser probation or minimum jail time if you choose. You might be able to get a concurrent license privilege loss so you don't suffer double length loss. You might be able to get a less onerous occupational license. You can hire a lawyer to evaluate the case - get them to quote you a trial and not trial fee - that way if they feel as you do - that it cannot be won - you have not spent as much money.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    The answer to the question has much to do about what you wish your "sentence to be". In addition an experienced DUI lawyer can look at how the police conducted their investigation and try to find loopholes. In addition you should confer with a DUI defense attorney to discuss with the lawyer how they might help keep your sentence and fines to a minimum.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    It may or may not be worth the fight. Only after reviewing the evidence can that decision be made. I have had some cases that looked overwhelming on first sight turn into Not Guilty results based on poor arrest actions by the police which led to suppression of evidence. That doesn't mean that every case or that your case will turn put that way, but without looking you will never know. However, even if the evidence is overwhelming, chances are that an attorney will get a better plea bargain than you will alone. Just today I represented a woman who blew a .14 breath test and failed all field sobriety tests horribly. I was able to get her case continued without a finding for one year, a 45 day loss of license, and entry into the 24d alternative sentence. This means she can be driving with a hardship license after 3 days and her charges will be dismissed after one year of probation, as long as she completes the drunk driver program, pays her fees and stays out of further trouble. She may or may not have been able to negotiate this herself, probably not. What I got for her which she certainly would not have gotten without my representation was dismissal of her marked lanes violation, her speeding charge and a full year to spread her fees over. Just the dismissal of the two accompanying charges will save her enough over three years on her insurance to cover my fees. Not to mention the difference between the end disposition that I got for her and what she would have gotten herself. It is almost always worth hiring an attorney. Most importantly, she knows now for sure that she couldn't have done any better. I personally would not want to wonder over the next several years if I could have done better if I had hired an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    There is always something a good attorney can do to help even if there isn't a defense. The key is getting representation early so the case can be analyzed before any time periods run.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law | Michael R. Nack
    You need a competent DWI attorney to review all of the evidence together with the manner in which the evidence was obtained to determine whether the prosecutor can make a case against you. Your opinion is not at all the same thing as a defense attorney's opinion based upon a complete review of all of the facts, the law and the evidence gathered by law enforcement. If your attorney determines that the case can be made against you, then your attorney may very well be able to negotiate a plea bargain under which you would avoid jail time, huge fines, and possibly even a conviction. Your attorney may even be able to save your driver's license. Going through this without an attorney would be the second biggest mistake you ever make. I have handled hundreds of DWI's in the thirty-three years that I have been practicing law. You should feel free to contact me for a consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Ramsell & Associates LLC
    Ramsell & Associates LLC | Donald Ramsell
    First, you are not qualified to know whether the evidence is or is not overwhelming. For example, a breath test on a machine that has not been timely inspected is inadmissible. Only a lawyer would know that. And some field sobriety tests, in not administered correctly, are also inadmissible. Just because someone feels guilty does not mean a lawyer cannot help. Usually a lawyer can negotiate for a lighter sentence, including suspensions, fines, counselling, etc. Just having a lawyer review a case should give someone the peace of mind in knowing that it wasn't worth fighting.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You really must hire an attorney. Most cases are resolved with a plea bargain to reduced charges and less than the maximum penalty. But if you don't have a lawyer then the prosecutor won't even talk to you. Plus, if the stop was illegal then the whole case might get thrown out. You'll need a lawyer to spot issues like that.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Smith & John
    Smith & John | Kenneth Craig Smith, Jr.
    An attorney can make sure it is resolved in a manner that maintains your driving privileges and ultimately expunged off of your record.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    The lawyer may not be able to help or the lawyer might find that the BAC protocols were not followed and get the BAC results suppressed, or the lawyer might find a problem with the traffic stop and get the evidence obtained after the traffic stop suppressed, and the lawyer should be able under most circumstances explain away or argue about the lack of reliability and subjectivity of Field Sobriety Tests or the lawyer might be able to negotiate a better plea bargain than you can if the case is truly hopeless.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law | Michael Maltby
    An attorney can tell you if there is indeed overwhelming evidence. A layperson does not know the technicalities associated with with DUI cases and there are many. There may be facts that would make your DUI unprovable. If there isn't there are still many factors that should be considered before resolving a case. It is almost always a good idea to get an attorney when you are charged with a DUI. An attorney can protect you long and short term interests with avenues that only an experienced attorney would be aware of.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    California Criminal Defense Center
    California Criminal Defense Center | Ardalon Fakhimi
    You should always consult with a qualified DUI lawyer when you are charged with a DUI. Even though you may think that the evidence against you is overwhelming, you may have very strong defenses. For example, law enforcement officers must comply with certain procedures in the course of their DUI arrest. Should they fail to follow those procedures, your legal defenses may become much stronger. Also, a tactful and strategic DUI lawyer will typically be able to secure a temporary drivers license for a much longer period of time than you might expect.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    If it is your first, plead guilty at arraignment - first ask the DA what the sentence will be in case you are over the limit where the consequences get more serious. If not, plead guilty. If it is your secondOR you are over the limit get an attorney who canpossibly get the DA to drop the excessive alcohol clause.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo | Matthew Murillo
    A good DUI attorney will conduct their own investigation. The primary method of helping is investigating the case to see if all procedures were properly observed, under the law. The attorney your considering should know what documents to subpoena that pertain to the specifics of your case. Keep in mind, though, "failing" the FST has nothing to do with whether the police should have even contacted you. You must have a lawful arrest. Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss this further.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of James Christie, LLC
    Law Office of James Christie, LLC | James Christie
    An experienced criminal defense attorney can help in several ways. It is true that the overwhelming majority of DUI charges are essentially indefensible. The police have become very well-trained on the DUI procedures, and it is the rare case where they make a mistake that could result in dismissal or reduction of the charges against you. But it does happen from time to time, and you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to perform this analysis. *Most* people charged with DUI fail the field sobriety tests and provide a breath sample in excess of .08, but that is not the end of the analysis. An experienced criminal defense attorney can determine whether the police had the right to stop you in the first place, can review the results of the field sobriety tests for errors, can determine whether the police had probable cause to arrest you for DUI, can determine whether the proper protocol was followed regarding the breathalyzer, and can determine whether the machine was properly calibrated and employed. Stated differently, it is possible that a good lawyer could possibly get some of the "overwhelming" evidence thrown out of your case, which would dramatically improve your odds of success. I don't want to give you the wrong impression; most DUI cases are lost causes, and the only benefit to hiring an attorney is to mitigate the damage. A good attorney can possibly negotiate a better deal, help you keep your car and license, help get you set up on electronic monitoring/house arrest rather than jail, etc. But the police do make mistakes from time to time on DUI cases, and an experienced attorney will be able to capitalize on these mistakes if they exist. I hope this helps.
    Answer Applies to: Alaska
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Your sentence can vary widely without an attorney. I have seen people representing themselves get horrible sentences. This alone is worth the investment.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Gutin and Wolverton
    Gutin and Wolverton | Harley Gutin
    The attorney can review your case and then determine how bad the video (assuming there is) of your field sobriety tests are. Did the officer follow procedure? Was the breathalyzer up to code? Then even under a worse case scenario the attorney can help you to get the minimum penalties.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    Every DUI can be defended. In addition you need representation with the DOL. Very few of my clients get convicted of DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Leyba Defense, PLLC
    Leyba Defense, PLLC | Matthew Leyba
    An experienced DUI Attorney can help you in many different ways. Even if you think its a difficult case, the police officer still has to follow certain procedures and protocols to ensure your constitutional rights are protected. A good DUI Attorney will be able to make sure the police did this. In addition even if the evidence is overwhelming, a DUI attorney will still be able to negotiate with the Prosecution and try and get you the best outcome possible. A good DUI Attorney is going to help you in this time of need more than anything or anyone else. Good luck
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    Since the prosecutor's office does not make any deals, in Honolulu, and does not dismiss charges willing, despite the fact that an accused may feel that he committed the crime alleged, you still have the right to demand that the government prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt. There are many ways in which the charge can be challenged even if you belief the evidence is damning. Hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    First of all you may have some things to work with even if you don't know it. Although when people have a feeling that there's not much anyone can do on their DUII they're often right, the fact remains that the cops can and do screw up and when that occurs, the result could be that a vital piece of evidence is suppressed by the court. I've seen seemingly "open and shut" DUII cases get dismissed because the arresting officer did not perform a procedure he or she should have done. Also even if you have little choice but to plead guilty at the end of the day, an experienced DUII lawyer can argue mitigation facts to the court or DA as reasons to give you a shorter sentence, lesser fine etc.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of John E. Gutbezahl LLC
    Law Office of John E. Gutbezahl LLC | John E Gutbezahl
    Not every case is destined for trial, however, not having an attorney can cost you significantly more. Please contact me at your earliest convenience.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Of course its worth the fight. DWI is a misdemeanor and a conviction will give you a criminal record for life. A good dwi attorney, depending on what county your case is in, can make a compelling case about you to get you an impaired, which is not a criminal offense. I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense including dwi. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    A good DUI attorney may be able to negotiate a better plea bargain for you than you would get pro se (as your own attorney).
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law | Jason Overton
    If I've got a rotten tooth that I know needs to come out and there's no way around it, and I've got a choice between a dentist and a plumber, I'm choosing the dentist, even though both have the tools to do it, because he can get me through it with the least amount of pain. Besides that, we all hear stories of charges getting dismissed and people being found 'not guilty' because of "technicalities". You don't know those "technicalities", but your lawyer does - that's what he went to school for.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    The Law Firm of Aaron Bortel Esq.
    The Law Firm of Aaron Bortel Esq. | Aaron Bortel
    Where do I start? The maximum jail on a non injury first offense DUI is 6 Months in jail. An experienced DUI lawyer will do everything they can to get you the lightest penalty possible if you are convicted. If you have a high BAL, the attorney can try and get the high BA allegation stricken to lessen the penalty. The length of DUI School can be as long as 9 months on a first DUI. This can often be negotiated to a three month school or less. The length of restriction on you license is also something an experienced DUI lawyer can help shorten. On your own or with an inexperienced DUI attorney you may end up with a 9 or 10 month restriction after serving at least a month of no driving suspension. This can often be reduced to 5 months of restriction with the right attorney. A DUI stays on your record for life and prevents your from entering Canada. Don't take shortcuts or hire a cheap DUI lawyer, or one who says they only do first time DUI's or claim that their experience as a prosecutor makes them a better DUI lawyer. You can get a free consultation with a DUI lawyer. Find one in your area who is a member of the National College for DUI Defense and they can give you a much longer answer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    There are many legal + factual considerations in a DUI case. At least consult a lawyer - pay for an hour of an experienced DUI lawyer to review the case.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    A lawyer can make sure the stop is OK, look for procedural problems in the case that can result in dismissal or a good deal and generally make sure that you do not make a mistake in plea bargaining and sentencing. Often we do not find things, but if we are funded to litigate and try a case, a good attorney can find ways to change the outcome positively.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Christopher Lee
    An attorney can help fight for you on your behalf. An experienced attorney will know how to get the best deal possible using the facts of the case and persuading the DA to reduce the punishment. Also, an attorney can make your appearances for you and your daily work/school schedule will not be interrupted
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Grasso Law Group
    Grasso Law Group | Charles Grasso, Esq.
    It really depends on the particular circumstances of your case. You should be able to find an attorney who will give you a free initial consultation to discuss the issues and inform you of what service they could provide.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Potter Law Offices
    Potter Law Offices | Cal J. Potter, III, Esq.
    An attorney can assist in the type of sentence that is negotiated.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/16/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney

Need more information on drunk driving law? Visit our free DUI resource page to learn more.

If you need immediate assistance, fill out a free case evaluation form to connect with a DUI lawyer in your area today!