Should I Hire a Lawyer for a DUI in Arizona if I’m Guilty?
You have the right to a legal defense no matter whether you perceive yourself as guilty of the charges you’re facing. People make mistakes. While drinking and driving is not an admirable decision, it’s also one you likely don’t want to have to pay for in the coming years.
A legal defense can aid you in pleading down the charges if your conscience can’t stand the thought of getting away with something. Or your attorney could work with you to have the prosecution drop the charges while you learn from the experience and avoid the mistake in the future.
What you should know is that pleading guilty to a DUI likely means serious jail time and full license suspension. You’ll also have a felony on your record, which would impact your ability to get a job, go to school or even secure housing.
So before you accept the charges against you to just move on with everything, learn the ways that a defense lawyer can help you, even if you assume you’re guilty.
How a DUI attorney helps your case
You cannot judge your case based on the level of guilt you feel. Instead, schedule a free consultation with a defense attorney to discuss your options. Here are the ways that a defense attorney could help.
1. Reviewing guilt
Some of your guilt might come from the results of your BAC test. But what you should know is that doesn’t make you automatically guilty.
Many factors contribute to a DUI. Each case is unique and will have different elements that need an expert legal review. Without one element or another, you might be completely innocent.
Your attorney will review the facts of the case to determine whether you are truly guilty to create a defense strategy.
2. Evaluate legality of the traffic stop
To pull you over, law enforcement must meet certain Constitutional requirements under the Fourth Amendment. If the officer violated the law, the entire traffic stop might be illegal, which means it is inadmissible in court. Additionally, the officer must follow protocol in reading your rights and administering tests appropriately.
3. Reviewing your BAC reading
Issues with equipment or administration of a BAC test could render it unreliable. For example, breathalyzer tests require careful calibration to avoid contamination and ensure they deliver a proper reading. Your attorney will make sure that law enforcement followed all requirements when administering such tests.
4. Review post-arrest procedures
Police officers can violate your rights during the traffic stop but they can also violate your rights post-arrest. The most common violation is failing to read you your Miranda rights immediately before questioning you. Failing to do so could make everything you said while in police custody inadmissible.
5. Evaluating all evidence against you
The prosecution has the burden of proof in a DUI case. So your attorney will review all evidence against you to see if they have sufficient evidence to pursue charges. And if they don’t have sufficient evidence, your attorney will request that they drop the charges to avoid lengthy court processes and allow you to return to normal life.
6. Negotiating reduced sentencing
Once your attorney understands the evidence against you, they will determine the best course of action in your case. Sometimes, the best course of action is to pursue reduced sentencing.
Some examples of this might be pleading down the charges from a felony to a misdemeanor. Or keeping your license to go to work or school to reduce the impacts of the DUI on your life. Or even requesting that you take a course or counseling to learn about drinking and driving instead of spending any time in jail.
Hiring an Arizona DUI attorney
No matter your perception of your guilt following a DUI arrest, you should hire an attorney to protect your interests and negotiate your case. Contact our office to obtain the legal defense you are entitled to.