A good DUI lawyer is not cheap, and cannot guarantee a particular outcome. So, why should you commit to such a significant cost? Well for starters, a DUI conviction can be an extremely costly endeavor. In addition to the statutory penalties explicitly stated in the law, there are many hidden costs that result from a DUI conviction. A judge may assess mandatory alcohol treatment or driving programs, at 100% cost to the defendant.
Auto insurance companies treat DUI’s with severity. A DUI conviction will automatically garner you an assessment as a high-risk member, resulting in skyrocketing insurance premiums. In the worst-case scenario, your car insurance company may even cancel your policy entirely, or decline to renew your policy when it expires. If you are forced to seek car insurance with a different carrier, your previous policy cancellation will constitute a black mark on your insurance record and you will likely be assessed very high premiums.
Additionally, you may face added DMV costs not incorporated in your court-mandated penalties. Mandatory costs of impounding your vehicle and reinstating your driver’s license add up.
Further, if you fail to have your license reinstated, you will be restricted from legally driving. If you are caught driving without a license, you face further charges, fines and even jail time.
By failing to hire a DUI lawyer, you preclude the possibility of using their connections to your case’s advantage. You will not have access to networks of medical professionals that could testify on your behalf. You will also have less success in attempting to negotiate deals with prosecution without the preexisting relationships a seasoned DUI attorney has established with prosecutors and officials.
You may also be less successful in identifying areas of weakness or evidence in the prosecution’s case if you choose to dispute your charges. Issues of the accuracy of field sobriety and chemical tests, as well as legal cause for arrest and other issues are areas that only a talented DUI lawyer will be able to navigate.
Finally, in failing to hire a DUI attorney, the entire burden of litigation will fall on you. You will be responsible for filing all materials by stipulated deadlines, or you will face additional penalties. If your case progresses to trial, you will be responsible for organizing and presenting your case on your own, with no expert assistance.
If you are facing DUI charges and waffling on whether to retain a DUI lawyer, consider the above factors carefully. You do not want to make a decision you may regret, resulting in additional cost, stress and ongoing penalties in the future.
Posted in: DUI