Should I Hire a Lawyer for a DUI Charge?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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If you’ve been charged with a DUI or DWI, you might think, “Hey, I can handle this myself,” or “Look, I messed up, so let me deal with this on my own.” What you may not realize is that one or multiple DUIs or DWIs on your record can wreak havoc with your life, now and far into the future.

The punishments for a DUI range from inconvenient and expensive to a loss of your civil rights and jail time.

For a first time offender, your license is usually automatically suspended. However, many states will allow you to request a hearing with the DMV after you’ve been charged. Setting a hearing date will allow the suspension to be postponed if and until the DMV determines that you should face suspension. This hearing must always be set within a week or two of the DUI charge, so be sure to contact your local DMV to see what the rules are in your state.

Aside from license suspension, the state will send you back to school – DUI school that is. Here, you will be educated on the consequences of drinking, as well as of drinking and driving. You will also be required to shell out large sums of money, which is never any fun. Quite frankly, if you can reasonably afford it, hiring a DUI lawyer almost always pays for itself.

What if it’s your second time, or even your third offense? You will of course face license suspension, and depending on your state and how many previous offenses you have, this could be months, years or forever – yes, it’s possible you may never be allowed to drive again. You can also lose your car! Even worse – you will always face mandatory jail time as a multiple DUI offender and may be prosecuted as a felon. If convicted, heavy jail time, the loss of your right to vote and own a weapon may result. In any case, an experienced DUI lawyer and legal counseling are essential.

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