Why Do I Need a Lawyer’s Help?

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Why Do I Need a Lawyer’s Help to Fight a California DUI Charge?

Lawyers who focus on DUI / DWI defense hear this question all the time. What’s the point of hiring an attorney if a drunk driving arrest means an automatic conviction? That’s the assumption that most individuals accused of driving under the influence make, but it’s incorrect. It’s possible to fight a drinking and driving charge with the help of an expert attorney and win.

A skilled DUI / DWI defense attorney can assist with every detail after a California drunk driving arrest, including locating the accused motorist, finding a reputable bail bond firm, requesting a DMV hearing to protect the driver’s license, and fighting for the driver’s rights in the criminal court system.

That’s the best reason to hire a lawyer to fight a drunk driving case – an accused DUI driver who pleads guilty without putting up a fight has a 100 percent chance of being convicted of drunk driving. And a driving under the influence conviction is no joke – besides costing more than $10,000, a DUI / DWI conviction threatens a motorist’s driver’s license and even his or her freedom. That’s right – convicted drunk drivers are being sentenced to jail and prison at higher rates than ever before.

However, just like any other criminal defendant, a motorist charged with driving under the influence is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. Accused DUI / DWI drivers are also entitled to a jury trial in California – not so in some other states. If the prosecutor cannot convince all 12 of the jurors of a defendant’s guilt, there can be no conviction.

A California drunk driving jury trial can end in one of three ways – either all 12 jurors agree on the defendant’s guilt; all 12 agree on the defendant’s innocence, or the jurors cannot agree on a unanimous verdict. This last outcome is called a hung jury, and it’s an excellent outcome in a DUI / DWI case, because it means that the charges will most likely be dismissed.

Therefore, to win a drunk driving case, a defense attorney need convince only one of the 12 jurors to vote not guilty. Just one out of 12. The alternative is for accused drivers to throw themselves on the mercy of a system that has no mercy. Isn’t that reason enough to fight a DUI / DWI case?

An experienced California DUI / DWI defense attorney has the knowledge needed to challenge every shred of evidence in a drunk driving case, from field sobriety tests (FSTs) to chemical test results. A skilled defense lawyer will fight hard to protect the driver’s rights and create reasonable doubt in his or her guilt.

Fortunately, a DUI / DWI arrest doesn’t equal an automatic conviction. Anyone charged with drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) should consult with an attorney that specializes in defending drunk driving cases.