Getting pulled over by law enforcement for a DUI is just the beginning of your trouble. Once you are under arrest and the prosecutor takes your case, it is only a matter of time until you face criminal charges in a California courtroom. At this point, things are quite serious, and your future depends on what happens next.
While you certainly can represent yourself in court, it is not always your best choice. There are a few reasons why you should consider hiring an attorney to assist you through the court process.
- You have a previous DUI conviction
USA Today explains that subsequent DUI charges increase the potential for serious penalties, such as jail time. You should not go into court unprepared when you have had a previous DUI because you will have a very difficult time avoiding these harsh penalties.
- You need to object to something that happened during your arrest
If an officer did not do something correctly during your arrest, then this can be a major point in your favor. However, if you do not know how to bring this up in court or present it to the judge, you could lose your chance at the defense.
- You cannot afford to lose your license
Almost any DUI conviction will lead to a loss of your driving privileges for at least a short time. This could be devastating if you need to be able to drive to get to and from work to take care of your family. It is possible that you could get some privileges restored, but you need to know how to ask for them.
In all the above situations, having an attorney in court with you can help you to avoid issues and possibly end up with less severe penalties and restrictions. Regardless, it is at least a good idea to talk with a legal professional to get advice on your situation since it is a serious legal issue.