Many people dismiss a charge of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol as a relatively minor legal issue. They think that people who are arrested on this crime will be given a fine and a short stint in jail or probation before being allowed to get back to their normal lives.
However, more states are cracking down on DUI offenders and issuing harsh penalties for even first time convictions. You may quickly realize that your immediate future and possibly longer is at stake if you are charged with and convicted of this crime.
Regardless of whether or not you are guilty of driving under the influence, you have legal rights that have to be protected under federal and state laws. Rather than representing yourself in court, you can protect your rights and ensure your future by retaining the services of law firms, paralegals, mediators, and Hayward lawyers during your upcoming case.
Ensuring the Validity of the Arrest
Many law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. do not provide much if any training to officers on how to conduct field sobriety tests. Officers are given just the rudimentary tactics to determine if someone is legitimately under the influence or sober before arresting him or her.
In your situation, you may have been legally sober yet still arrested for DUI. The officer may have lacked adequate training to give the field sobriety test correctly and place you under arrest lawfully.
When you have a lawyer working for you, you can have the test and results reviewed to ensure that the arrest was valid. Your attorney may uncover discrepancies and mistakes that could exonerate you and have the charges against you dropped.
Even if you were inebriated at the time of your arrest, you may not have been drunk or high enough to qualify for the charged leveled against you. You might have been just slightly buzzed and thus not eligible for felony charges.
Your attorney can have your blood or urine sample retested at a third-party facility rather than one that contracts with the city, county, or state. This objective test will give accurate results that could get the charges against you lowered or dropped.
Assistance in the Courtroom
If your case goes before the judge, you need a skilled attorney to argue for you. You may not deserve to go to jail and incur all of the punishments that come with being a convicted DUI offender. Even if you only serve a short time in jail, you still risk losing your job and family after you are released.
Your lawyer can argue down the charges and ask the judge for leniency. He or she may also be able to have the conviction sealed so that your employer does not find out about it. These safeguards could allow you to keep your job and your ability to earn an income for your family.
If you are sentenced to community service or counseling, you can have your attorney validate your completion of the program. The attorney can provide the court with proof that you satisfied the terms of the sentence.
In some cases, you may qualify to have the conviction expunged from your record. An attorney can advise you on these post-conviction possibilities when you retain his or her legal services.