While you probably know that you can face a driver’s license suspension, fines, probation, and even jail time, you may not have any idea about the process or how to defend against the charges.
The truth is that there is a lot of inaccurate information out there, and those facing a DUI first offense should not necessarily expect everything they hear or read online to be true.
In reality, many people charged with DUI offenses have defenses against the allegations. Police officers, lab technicians, and prosecutors all make mistakes.
However, determining whether you have a defense in a DUI first offense and what the best defense is in your particular case is something best left to an experienced DUI lawyer.
Do I Need an Attorney for DUI First Offense?
The first thing to understand about legal representation in a criminal case is that you can almost always represent yourself. Self-representation is a right guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
So, the question isn’t whether you need an attorney in a Nebraska first offense DUI, but whether you should have one. In most cases, the answer to this question is a resounding “yes.”
How Can an Attorney Help You Fight a Nebraska First DUI Offense?
Having an attorney represent you in your first DUI offense will help you in several ways. First, an attorney is familiar with the process and can help you understand what to expect.
For many, this is a major benefit, as having a criminal case hanging over your head can be incredibly stressful.
Perhaps more importantly, an attorney understands the applicable laws and what the prosecution must prove. In any criminal case, you are innocent until proven guilty. Thus, the burden is always on the prosecution to prove their case—not vice-versa.
During the trial, the prosecution will attempt to prove the elements of a crime by presenting evidence. Your attorney will know what evidence is admissible and challenge all inadmissible evidence.
Motion to Suppress
There are two ways an attorney may keep evidence out of a trial. The first opportunity to keep out potentially harmful evidence is through a motion to suppress. A motion to suppress is a hearing where your attorney argues that the judge or jury should not hear certain evidence.
Usually, this is because the police obtained the evidence in violation of your rights. In a DUI first offense, the most common type of evidence an attorney may seek to suppress is the stop of your vehicle and chemical test results.
Making Proper and Timely Trial Objections
The other opportunity to keep evidence out of the jury’s consideration comes up once the trial starts. Say, for example, you have an open domestic violence offense, and the prosecutor starts to ask one of the police officers about your open case.
Of course, this has nothing to do with a DUI offense and can only hurt you in the eyes of the jury. Your attorney can object to the prosecutor’s comments, arguing why it is inappropriate for the jury to hear about your open case.
Negotiating an Advantageous Plea
Not everyone wants to fight a first-time DUI case, especially when the evidence against them is strong. If you fit into this category, an attorney can also help you negotiate charges, especially in a Nebraska first offense DUI case.
While every crime has a set of penalties that come along with it, prosecutors have flexibility in offering pre-trial plea deals. Thus, your attorney may be able to convince the prosecutor to drop more serious charges in favor of less serious charges or possibly even a minor traffic offense.
An attorney also knows about the available diversionary programs, which allow you to avoid a conviction altogether if you complete the program successfully.
Working with an attorney is imperative if you want to obtain the best possible result in your Nebraska first offense DUI case.
Are You Facing a Nebraska First Offense DUI?
If you face a first-time DUI charge, reach out to Petersen Criminal Defense Law for immediate assistance. Our firm’s founder, Attorney Thomas M. Petersen, has extensive, hands-on experience helping people overcome their first DUI arrest.
Whether he is negotiating with prosecutors, arguing to keep evidence out of trial, or litigating your case in front of a jury, Attorney Petersen has what it takes to handle even the most complex DUI cases. We can also explain the process to you in understandable terms so you know what to expect moving forward.
To learn more about Attorney Petersen, and to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, call Petersen Criminal Defense Law today. You can also reach us through our online contact form.