In the United States, an average of 29 people die every day from being in a motor vehicle crash that involved a drunk driver. There are $44 billion in costs that arise from these accidents every year.
In the last three decades, costs have decreased, and drunk-driving related deaths have fallen by a third. That’s because of stricter laws and enforcement relating to driving under the influence.
Many people who are in a crash or who are pulled over while driving under the influence, can benefit from the services of a DWI defense attorney. And there are times when people make mistakes.
Maybe you had a couple of beers at a BBQ and decided to drive the 5 minutes home. Perhaps you were drinking a glass of wine when you got a call from a friend for support. Regardless of the reason, getting a DWI can do some severe damage to your lifestyle and your pockets.
Keep reading to learn when you should hire a defense attorney to help with any charges you may face.
If You Want Your Punishment Reduced
Drunk driving lawyers can help reduce your sentence. If you’re charged with driving while intoxicated, it can affect your ability to drive, your job, and your future. If you don’t mind paying a little bit extra for an attorney, they may be able to significantly reduce your sentence.
An attorney knows the ins and outs of the law. With an attorney by your side, you may have a better chance of being able to still drive to and from work or to bring your kids to and from school.
Plus, police offers are human too, and they make mistakes. A drunk driving lawyer will be able to determine is protocol was breached and whether or not your case can be thrown out or reduced as a result.
If You’re Innocent
Maybe you refused to blow because you knew you were under the limit. Perhaps you feel you were being targeted or you were pulled over without cause. Maybe you forgot that you took a pain killer earlier in the day. Whatever the reason, if you believe you are innocent, your only chance to prove it will be with the help of a defense attorney.
In many states, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, your license will be immediately revoked and suspended. If this happens and you were not intoxicated, an attorney will be able to help you prove as much of that as possible.
If you do decide to go to court without a lawyer, here’s what you should know before going in.
If You’re Feeling Overwhelmed
If your blood alcohol is over the limit, there isn’t much that can be done by way of getting you off completely. That being said, there is a lot of paperwork to be filed and alcohol or drug education treatment programs that you’ll have to complete.
An attorney can be your advocate, get you started on everything early, and file all the necessary paperwork. They might not be able to get you off the hook, but they may be able to significantly help your case by advocating for you to keep your license or pay lower fines.
If You Were Involved in an Accident
Many drivers are charged with DWIs when they are pulled over while driving or breathalyzed at checkpoints.
If you were charged with driving under the influence in Baton Rouge, or anywhere else in Louisiana, and you were in an accident, it’s in your best interest to hire an attorney who will be able to help.
While you may have been under the influence, you may not be at fault for the accident. Your attorney will be able to get a copy of the police report, talk to all of the corresponding insurance companies, do any relevant detective work, and talk to witnesses. All of these things may help get you some relief. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you might be able to keep your license and not have to pay higher insurance rates.
If you were in an accident and there were multiple cars involved, this is even more reason for you to hire an attorney. The last thing you’d want is for you to endure the brunt of the blame, all because you were driving while intoxicated. And even if you were at fault, your lawyer will be able to get your the best possible charges and requirements for working your way out of your situation.
If You Want to Offer or Accept a Plea Bargain
Trials can be expensive and take a lot of time. And if you lose, it can be much worse than if you had taken a plea bargain to begin with. If you want to accept the damages, admit fault, agree to the necessary education and training, and move on, then you should hire an attorney.
They’ll be able to negotiate the best possible deal on your behalf, and they understand the terms, conditions, and verbiage of the law.
A DWI Defense Attorney Can Help Your Case
While you may not want to face any additional expenses, hiring a DWI defense attorney may cost you less in the long run.
An attorney will be able to access documents like police reports and witness statements. They’ll be able to negotiate with insurance companies and opposing counsel on your behalf.
Even if you’re guilty, hiring a drunk driving attorney may make the difference of you being able to drive to and from work.
Plus, if you’re overwhelmed by your charges, the paperwork, and your upcoming court date, an attorney will be able to speak on your behalf and help to put your mind at ease.
Are you wondering how long a DWI might stay on your record if you’re charged in Louisiana? You can read all about it here.