This is a question I frequently receive. Prospective clients call and ask if they should bother hiring me to defend them against their first DUI. They understand that it would be worthwhile to hire a lawyer to help defend against a DUI with priors charged or a DUI with injury charge but question the need to hire a lawyer for a first non-injury DUI because usually the client isn’t facing jail time.
My response to this argument is that jail time just one of the many consequences that stem from a DUI conviction. Criminal convictions don’t go away anymore. If you have been convicted of a crime, that record can be located many years later if you are subjected to a thorough background check. When you are convicted of even a first non-injury DUI, you will have to deal with probation that can last 5 years, your license is suspended, you will have to take classes for at least three months, and if you violate probation you could be subjected to jail sentence of up to 180 days. Your insurance company will either drop you or raise your rates so that you will have to much more–several thousand dollars–to an insurance company over the next 3-5 years.
And what you have to remember is that just because you were arrested for a DUI doesn’t mean you are guilty of the charge. In fact innocent people plead guilty to DUIs all the time because they don’t receive competent representation. They are misled to believe that they are guilty just because at some point in time after the person was driving there was a breath test or blood test that identified the suspect had a blood alcohol consent of 0.08 or higher at the time of the test. The bottom line is that a BAC test result of 0.08 is just the beginning of the story, not the end of the story.
When you hire Ken Hamilton at South Coast DUI Law Center to represent you, you can ensure that you will be receiving aggressive representation and personal attention. While I can’t guarantee a dismissal or not-guilty verdict, I can guarantee that I will make every effort to achieve those results. The odds of a conviction are 100% when you plead guilty; they are substantially lower when you answer “ready for trial” and fight your DUI.