Is it necessary to get a DUI defense lawyer? 67 Answers as of June 08, 2011

Is it really better for the first one? I gotta 1.5 on the test and I never been in trouble before. He says I didn't stop at the stop sign. My friend told me I don't need one.

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Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
It is possible to do it by yourself. Having a lawyer just protects you from unexpected calamities.With a .15 B/A the judge is thinking about a more severe penalty. The Code says he should. A good lawyer can usually wiggle out of it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/8/2011
Berner Law Group, PLLC
Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
In Washington, it's not required but it's highly advisable. If you're a Western Washington resident, feel free to contact my office for a free, no obligation consultation regarding your situation.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/8/2011
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
It is always better to have a lawyer to represent your legal interest and help you.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 6/8/2011
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
It's like asking if it's better to have a doctor when you go to the hospital. Of course it's better! You certainly can choose not to have one, but it's foolish. At the very least, you should speak to the Public Defender or another attorney who will give you a free consultation. DUIs can be very complicated and technical and, if handled wrong, can affect the rest of your life.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/8/2011
Deal & Hooks, LLC
Deal & Hooks, LLC | Shawn P. Hooks
An experienced DUI attorney is trained to look at possible defenses that could result in charges being reduced or even dismissed. A .15 is relatively high in Ohio where the low tier offense is .08 - .17. The fact that you have no record will help in sentencing but will not help you to spot issues and get the best possible result on your own.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/8/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    I would get an attorney because generally you can get a more favorable plea bargain than if you represent yourself.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Your friend is not a lawyer. Get an experienced lawyer. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    Every person has a constitutional right to represent themselves when charged with a crime. Of course, you are then acting as an attorney, and it is often said that a person who represents himself has a fool for a client. Also consider this medical analogy. If you injure yourself you don't need to see a doctor, so if you cut yourself and strain a ligament, or you have a fever and intense abdominal pain you can care for yourself. You may be good or not so good at this. This is equal to a simple moving violation like jaywalking. It would probably be better to have an attorney, or a doctor, but it may not be absolutely necessary. Perhaps you don't care if you have a small, yet permanent scar (legally or medically). However, a misdemeanor offense is far worse. This is a significant injury such as breaking bones through a high fall and cutting deep into tissues and the like. Must you see a doctor? Could you survive and not die if you didn't see a doctor? You could probably tend to yourself with broken bones and not die, so it is not vital you see a doctor. However, most people would urge you to see a doctor quickly. Felonies are like getting shot or hit by a truck. It is probably not recommended you try to manage that injury or wound yourself. You should probably avail yourself of the services of a good criminal defense attorney quickly for any crimes.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    I would certainly recommend retaining an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court may appoint one for you upon request at the public's expense depending on the particular court's policies. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Ultimately, you have a right to represent yourself. However, this particular area of the law is complex for several important reasons. Testing used for potential evidence in a DUI, OWI, OUIL or these types of offenses may be susceptible to tampering. The equipment itself is fairly complex and may be faulty. If the person tested has certain medical conditions, that may have an impact on the results. There may be issues with how the test was performed and who was performing the test. Simply because a person had been informed that their test result was a certain amount does not necessarily mean that was the case. Additionally, there may have been issues with the initial stop by the police as well. A conviction could severely limit a person's ability to drive in the future, even after any of the other consequences of a conviction such as jail time, probation, fines, costs, community service, work-crew, etc. are finished. Repeat offenders face escalating penalties. Effective advocacy can have a significant impact in terms of the potential outcome. I would recommend either retaining an attorney or requesting that the court appoint one to represent you at the public's expense.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    No. You have a right to represent yourself. Of course you can fight it. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. While this isn't a 'capital case', you certainly face potential jail and fines, so handle it right. Effective plea-bargaining, using those defenses, could possibly keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it. Go to trial if it can't be resolved with motions or a plea bargain. There is no magic wand to wave and make it all disappear. Not exactly a do it yourself project in court for someone who does not know how to effectively represent himself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict and jail you. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help use whatever defenses there may be. Keep in mind a little free advice, that I bet your friend didnt know either: 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: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    Is is necessary to hire an electrician? I can wire a light. How about an architect? I can draw. The problem being, of course, that I don't wire or draw for a living and I, for one, wouldn't trust my skills at electrical work or drafting. Much the same goes for the person who represents himself in court. There's that old saying, "a man who represents himself has a fool for a client." Although you might do an adequate job representing yourself in court, you might not and not being a lawyer, you may not even know that you're screwing yourself over. The judge and district attorney cannot by law give you legal advice so they can't tell you if you're getting a raw deal, plus, when you think of it, they're lawyers, so shouldn't you have one to help you? Representing yourself pro se is a bad idea and something normally done only by crazy people. Hopefully, you're not crazy!
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Experienced attorneys are always beneficial. You may need to consult with an attorney before making the decision whether you wish to represent yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    DUIs with a .15 reading have serious consequences and are complex casesI wold suggest you at least meet with a lawyer that offers a free consultation before deciding to represent yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    You should certainly consider hiring an attorney any time you are being charged with a crime. DUI Defense can be particularly complex and a wide number of factors will be better handled by an experienced attorney. For example, if you do not properly request an administrative hearing within 15 days of your arrest, your driver's license will automatically be suspended. Furthermore if you accept a plea deal in return for a reduced or deferred sentence, unless you do so under the appropriate state statute, you may preclude yourself from being able to have your criminal record expunged in the future which will seriously affect your ability to apply for certain jobs. All of the intricacies of the law are what make an attorney particularly useful in these cases. If you are seeking legal representation in this matter in Louisiana, we invite you to contact our firm at the information on this page for a free case evaluation.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    That depends on the facts of your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    DUI is the most serious misdemeanor charge (more severe than a felony in some cases). You should definitely have the assistance of an attorney, especially with a very high BAC of 1.5. Your friend is wrong - talk to an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Unless your friend is an attorney I wouldn't base my decision on what he says. It is true that if you have a .15 alcohol result and you believe that you were under the influence AND your initial detention by the police was justified there may be no defense to your case as far as beating it is concerned. An attorney can guide you through the process and plea bargain to get you the minimum sentence. And of course he can confirm your "friends" suspicion that you should plead guilty. Whether these services are worth it or not is entirely up to you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    I believe it is worth consulting with a lawyer so an expert can tell you if there are defenses in your case so that you can make an intelligent decision whether to hire a lawyer. I do those consultations - explaining how it all works and what defense you have, if any - and how I would expect the case to go. I charge a small fee for the consultation, as I find the 'free consultations' often are just a way to get you in the door to see a lawyer who then tries to convince you that you need to hire them.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    I doubt you got a 1.5 - you would be deceased. You probably got a 0.15% BAC. I would always recommend an attorney. Your friend is giving you bad advice. At least talk to an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    In a criminal matter, you have the right to be represented by an attorney or to represent yourself. Whether you should get an attorney is a decision that is entirely up to you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Offices of Carl Spector
    Law Offices of Carl Spector | Carl Spector
    You should not represent yourself on a DWI case. An experienced attorney can analyze the police reports and speak with the prosecutor and the judge. The attorney is able to then protect your legal rights and further advise you as to the consequences of your decisions.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Is your friend a lawyer? At least consult with a DUI attorney. You are almost 2 times the limit. Bad things can happen.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Your friend is most likely incorrect. It is almost always better to have an attorney than not because your reading is high and it makes a difference if you get an attorney who knows what they're doing. Of course, many people think they understand a lot of things, but then later, you discover that you followed their suggestions and it went badly and you want to do it over again. Unfortunately, there are no "do-overs" in the law and once you are convicted, it's all over and you have a permanent criminal record. That's not a great thing to have, when you have a chance at a reduction to a non-crime under the right circumstances. I run across this type of thing a lot with people in jail who talk to "jail house lawyers" who advise them of all sorts of things - without realizing that if that "jail house lawyer" was so smart, what's he or she doing in jail right along side of the person to whom they're giving the advice? I suggest you at the very least consult with a competent criminal lawyer about your matter. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Offices of Steven R. Decker
    Law Offices of Steven R. Decker | Steven Decker
    A dui charge and conviction can have a lifetime of legal and economic adverse consequences. An experienced attorney may avoid unfortunate consequences.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    .15 is nearly twice the legal limit in most jurisdictions and constitutes a serious DUI. A lawyer experienced in DUI defense is well worth the cost.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Is your friend an expert in criminal law? Did you know you could go to jail for a DUI? Do you realize your future depends on the outcome in your case. I do not care if you are a first time offender or not, get a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    Your summary states that you went through a stop sign and were arrested for a DWI. Your friend told you that you do not need an attorney. You tell me that your BAC test was a 1.5 and you want to know if you need an attorney to handle the case. Let me first say that if you had a 1.5 you would be in the morgue. You blew a .15 which is twice the legal limit of .08 so you probably had about 6 to 8 drinks and were pretty drunk. Driving drunk is like firing a gun at a moving train and hoping you don't hit any of the passengers. Your friend is a moron who should not give anyone advice. Many people are too cheap to retain an attorney. They may qualify for an assigned attorney and then often regret it when they have a criminal conviction for the rest of their lives. The cost of insurance may be $15,000 over the next 3 years if you get a DWI conviction and the average fee for a good lawyer is only about $1500-$3,000. Therefore you will have to spend money to defend a criminal case but the consequences of not having a good attorney are much worse than the fee that you will pay. Call me for a free consultation and tell your friend that you don't want any more free advice from people who have no idea what they are talking about.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Without an attorney the only thing the Court will ask you is whether you plead guilty or not guilty. If guilty the court will impose punishment which could include a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of between $600 to $2,100. Additionally you will be ordered to attend and complete a DUI school and the victim's impact panel. A record of your conviction will be maintained and is a permanent conviction. Your driving privilege will be suspended for a period of ninety (90) days. If you plead not guilty the matter will be set for a trial or tried at that time.With an attorney, there may be an opportunity for negotiation of a settlement that would not result in a conviction or the attorney may be able to achieve a not guilty verdict from the Court. Additionally, an attorney may request an appeal on the case if you are found guilty and issues are available that could result in a resolution in your favor. At the least, an attorney would be able to negotiate a minimum sentence and could advise you of all of your legal rights and the consequences of pleading guilty.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
    Your friend is wrong. There are many defenses to a DUI even when some has a BAC result of 1.5. You should at least consult with one before you proceed any further.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    You would be wise to hire legal counsel. A DWI conviction is very serious and may have long lasting consequences. In Minnesota, if you had a Blood Alcohol Content under .20, and you have no prior DWI within the last 10 years, you were charged with a fourth degree offense. This is still serious and carries with it maximum criminal penalties of up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. If convicted any subsequent DWI offense would be much more serious and with four offenses in ten years, you can be charged with a felony. As a result, as strong defense on the first alleged incident can be critical to your future. Different Judges give different sentences. Accordingly, understanding your Judge and knowing how to change Judge's can be an important part of the process. There is also a civil case that results in the revocation of your driver's license. On a first offense over your lifetime, you may be revoked for 30 to 90 days. This is a separate case even though the challenges are largely the same. In order to challenge your license revocation, you must seek a judicial review by filing a petition within 30 days of the offense. Do not forget this critical time period. All too often people with strong defenses come to me too late to challenge the license revocation. The end result goes well beyond simply having your license revoked. A failure to challenge results in an Implied Consent violation on your record which can also affect employment and may be used to enhance any subsequent DWI offense. There are many challenges to a DWI. Officers must follow very specific steps as part of the arrest. If any one step is missing, the case may be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    It's not a requirement, but I would recommend consulting with one at the very least. Only a trained and experienced eye can evaluate police report and lab results for deficiencies that could reduce or dismiss your charges. A good DUI attorney will more than pay for his services in what he can save you in terms of fines, costs, vehicle immobilization, higher insurance premiums, and possible jail time.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Thank you for your inquiry It is my experience that free advice from a non-attorney is usually worth every penny you paid for the advice It is not "necessary" to have an attorney. But most people who are not familiar with the Court are best advised to have an attorney represent them. Whether or not an attorney will affect the result in your case cannot be determined by a general question such as yours. The attorney does more than "make it better." The attorney reviews your case to see whether there are defenses which can make the plea offer better. This review could result in a recommendation that you go to trial and potentially get your case dismissed. Also, the attorney advises you of the potential penalties and how these penalties can be minimized, if possible. So if your question is whether an attorney avoids going into Court and blindly pleading guilty and taking whatever consequences are doled out, then the answer is yes, and attorney will review your case and make you more informed. In certain cases, the having an attorney will result in lesser penalties. In other cases, it will not. If you are not concerned with the results and want to go to Court uninformed and unrepresented, then you should not hire an attorney. Oh, and if your friend who says you don't need one is confident in their advice, perhaps your friend will promise to help you with the legal consequences if it turns out that an attorney would have been helpful in making the results of your case better. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    It's always advisable to have an attorney when accused of a crime. Whether there might be defenses or mitigating factors should be investigated by an experienced attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Craig E. Gibbs
    Law Office of Craig E. Gibbs | Craig Gibbs
    1.5 can get you jail time so I think a lawyer is a good option
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Johnson & Nicholson, PLLC
    Johnson & Nicholson, PLLC | Carnell Johnson
    I would say yes, however let me explain why. First, in NC there are no expunctions; thus if you are found guilty of a DWI, it will remain on your record forever. Second, there is a possibility that you can be sent to jail. Under the law, even a first time offender is given an active sentence. Notably, most judges suspend the active sentence and place the person on probation, but this is not a guarantee. Lastly, there might be a defense to have the DWI dismissed. There are many defenses to a DWI, including the manner of the motor vehicle stop, the arrest, the validity of the alcohol reading, the tests that the officer administered. These questions can result in a positive outcome for you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am an experienced attorney and I have represented hundreds of clients who have been charges with DWI.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    Does your friend practice law?? Has your friend ever had a DUI? You should at least see an attorney to find out if you have any defenses. A local DUI lawyer will also know if the court has any special programs for first offenses.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
    DUI is a crime, if pleading guilty it will affect your record for the rest of your life, any charge such as this should be handled by an experienced attorney there's no question about that... It's important to ensure you discuss all of your options and are properly protected. Many peoples recommend not using an attorney in different situations, however whenever a charge can impact your life you should always hire an attorney if you can afford to do so.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Justin Jones Attorney at Law, PLLC
    Justin Jones Attorney at Law, PLLC | Justin Blaine Jones
    You should certainly seek legal representation with any criminal arrest, especially a DUI. There are serious consequences and repercussions upon conviction and only an experienced DUI attorney will be able to help you get the best possible outcome.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    West law Office
    West law Office | Russell West
    I would recommend hiring an attorney to defend you but it is not required. If you cannot afford one, the court will appoint a public defender at no cost. An attorney can review your case to see if there are any mistakes the officer made in arresting you and performing the field sobriety and BAC tests. An attorney can also speak with the prosecutor to try to arrange a plea deal to lessen the charge.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    The Law Offices of Dustan Neyland
    The Law Offices of Dustan Neyland | Dustan Neyland
    You need to get a lawyer. Anytime you are facing a criminal charge that could result in jail time, you should consult with an attorney. A .15 breath test may still be a defensible case.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    If you're going to do diversion, you don't really need one. A lawyer could tell you whether you have a good defense, but diversion is a good idea even for a lot of people who could win at trial. If you're going to trial, or you aren't sure, then you absolutely, positively, need a lawyer. If you can't afford one, the court will appoint one. If you hire a lawyer, find someone familiar with DUII work, and find someone you're comfortable with.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Whether it is a first or second or third offense, a good lawyer can always help you in exploring options other than to plead guilty. A first offense gives your attorney more wiggle room in negotiating with the prosecutor, since the threat of a severe punishment (due to a criminal history) is lessened and you lawyer can truly explore all options, including trial. And don't forget the DMV aspect of a DUI case. Even many lawyers are not competent to represent clients at the DMV, which is a very specialized field, not to mention yourself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin | Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Maybe your friend can serve your sentence! It is not legally necessary to obtain counsel for a first offense DUI or for any misdemeanor. Many people do admit their charges and plead guilty on misdemeanors without consulting counsel. Some of them would have received better outcomes with an attorney, while in some cases, th outcome may have been the same. You should know at a .15, it is not likely that your charges will be dropped. Fallout from a DUI can be quite expensive and may interfere with job search in the future. If you want to plead guilty, you certainly can do so.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Yes you need a lawyer. Not hiring a lawyer is one of the biggest mistakes by people in your situation. I have specialized in this area of the law for over 30 years in your area and have seen how people regret the fact that they did not hire a successful attorney to help them in their time of need. One who represents themself has a fool for a client. Feel free to call me to answer any additional questions.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law | Michael R. Nack
    Your "friend" is giving you very bad advice. I could give you advise if you are in a state where I have a license to practice law.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    The Law Offices of Jason Pollack, Esq.
    The Law Offices of Jason Pollack, Esq. | Jason Pollack
    Listen to your friend. And next time u need surgery or have a cavity. Do it yourself also.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Mercado & Hartung
    Mercado & Hartung | Stephanie Hartung
    A DUI charge in Washington State carries very significant and harsh consequences for a first offense. A judge will require you have the assistance of an attorney, either a public defender (court appointed) or private attorney (attorney you hire). You would greatly benefit from having an attorney to assist you through the process.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    The Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC
    The Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC | Justin C. Olsinski
    It is always better to hire an attorney, especially on a DWI. You will lose your license for a year upon conviction along with other penalties including possible jail time. Since your BAC was .15 you are also looking at having to install an ignition interlock system on your car once you do get your license back, which is expensive. If you say you stopped at the stop sign you may have a reasonable suspicion argument at a hearing. DWI convictions never go away, it's worth the upfront costs to hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr.
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr. | John J. Ferry, Jr.
    Is is necessary? No. Is it a good idea? Probably. Most first time DUIs are handled with some type of alternative resolution, such as dropping the charge after going through a period of supervision or probation. But how are you going to know what's available in your jurisdiction if you don't have a lawyer? Do you really want to get all your information on the process from the district attorney that is prosecuting you? At least pay for a consultation with a good local attorney that handles DUI cases. That one meeting may be sufficient to make an informed decision on whether you want to handle this without legal representation.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Has your friend gone to law school? Is he a deputy in the court system? Is she a court reporter? Does she know that your DUI conviction will not be expunged? No, then I think you should stop listening to your friend. Refer to my website. Your friend may disagree with me, but since I have 250 jury trials, and she/he probably has zero, I would think I outrank him.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I would recommend that anyone charged with a crime which carries such significant consequences should clearly retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo | Matthew Murillo
    Is your friend an attorney? Many people listen to the advice of their friends and family, when it comes to legal issues. However, the down-side is that many of those friends and family are not attorneys. Only an attorney would be able to examine the legal side of a situation. As for whether or not you should hire an attorney. That depends on you. If you just want to go to court, and plea guilty, and take whatever sentence the court will give you. Then no. You dont need an attorney for that. On the other hand, if you want to have the charges investigated (examining breath machine records or lab test results of blood samples), then you should hire an attorney. DUIs are complicated cases and should not be taken lightly. If convicted, it could result in increased car insurance premiums, fines, license suspension, and even job loss (depending on your job is). Before deciding you dont need an attorney, I strongly recommend you at least consult with a couple to see what they can tell you first.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    It is important to get an attorney. Often they can get you a better deal or even get the case tossed out. There are several questions about the stop. Where was it? Were there any witnesses? Were there any passengers? These all could make a difference. They are what a good attorney would be looking at.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    It can mean the difference between jail and not. Or a harder sentence. I would be happy to discuss the case with you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC | Raymond J. Savoy
    For a first offense you can face jail time if your case is not handled properly. An experienced dwi attorney can ensure the best outcome.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    You need an attorney. Your BAC is high and the penalties can be enhanced. An attorney might be able to do a great deal for you and save you money.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    Yes, it's better to have an attorney. An attorney, especially one who has a relationship with the district attorney's providing the deals can help you get a better deal (not guaranteed), even on the first one.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Van Der Jagt Law Firm
    Van Der Jagt Law Firm | Grant Van Der Jagt
    Don't listen to your friend. You should have one. Go to my website for defenses and a great DUI attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Nichols Law Firm
    Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
    Your friend is not much of a friend. Contact an attorney immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law | Eric Mark
    You can try to save some money by not getting an attorney, but if you had a valid defense or could have gotten a reduced charge you will never know.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    You mean a .15. That is very high - almost twice the legal limit. Yes, you need a lawyer. You don't say what County this is in - some DAs have a no plea policy on DWI cases.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Karmali Law Office, PLLC
    Karmali Law Office, PLLC | Hussein Karmali
    Of course you need either retained counsel or a public defender. DUI charges are tricky and technical, you need assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/6/2011
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