Driving under the influence (DUI) is somewhat unique among criminal offense in that most people arrested and charged with DUI are otherwise law-abiding citizens who had a momentary lapse in judgement, not career criminals who knowingly committed a crime for personal gain. If you find yourself facing a DUI charge, the most important thing you can do for yourself and for your future is to retain the services of an experienced DUI defense lawyer. If you are unsure whether you need an attorney, consider the following five reasons to hire a DUI defense lawyer:
- To help you navigate the unfamiliar criminal justice system. If this is your first brush with the criminal justice system, you are probably already feeling confused and a bit intimidated. Simply trying to figure out where you need to be when to ensure that you don’t miss a court date can be a challenge, particularly when you are already worrying about the outcome of your case. All too often, first-time defendants make costly mistakes before they hire an attorney simply because they don’t understand the system. Your DUI attorney knows the system inside and out and can guide you through it.
- To ensure that your rights are protected. As an accused, you have a number of Constitutional rights that are intended to protect you from the moment you become a suspect in a criminal investigation all the way beyond a conviction. Those rights, however, can only help you if you understand them and know when and how to exercise them. Your DUI defense lawyer will explain your rights to you and make sure that you exert your rights when appropriate and necessary as well as explain why you might want to waive some of your rights.
- To review and explain the State’s case against you. You have the right to review all of the State’s evidence against you and speak to all witnesses who plan to testify against you. This process is referred to as the “discovery” process. If you don’t know what you are looking for among the evidence discovered to you, it doesn’t help to review it. A DUI defense lawyer knows what all the evidence means, how strong it is, and can point out any problems with the evidence. For example, in a DUI case, there might be a problem with the reason for the original traffic stop or with the calibration of the breath test machine. Neither of those problems is something the average defendant would even recognize as a potential evidentiary weakness.
- To offer advice and guidance. Despite what many people believe, a criminal defense attorney does not tell a client how to resolve the case. Instead, the attorney explains the strengths and weaknesses of the State’s case and discusses options with the client. Your DUI defense attorney will give you advice and guidance so that you can make important decisions about your case.
- To develop and implement a defense strategy. In any criminal prosecution, the State must prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A defendant is not required to prove anything. Nonetheless, most of the time the defense develops some type of defense strategy, even if that strategy is not to present a defense. Your attorney may believe that the State’s case against you is so weak that it is best to simply trust that the judge/jury will realize the State has failed to meet its burden. On the other hand, you may have an excellent defense that needs to be developed, such as the Rising Alcohol Level defense.
Contact a DUI Defense Lawyer at Petersen Law Office
If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Nebraska, consult with an experienced Nebraska DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. In Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case.