Of course, the ultimate decision lies with the individual. But in case you are confused between hiring a lawyer and an attorney, at Meltzer & Bell, P.A., we always recommend a lawyer in a DUI charge. Why? DUI is a criminal offense that involves a court trial followed by a serious penalty. It’s a different matter from other traffic rules violations; most of them can be dealt with by a fine. But when it comes to Driving Under Influence, lawyering up is often your best bet.
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You have a DUI charge on you now. What next? Find a skilled lawyer. A skilled lawyer will run a thorough analysis of your case either free of charge or for a small fee. Pay it; it’s worth the long haul, especially when you take it to court.
The circumstances under which you’re arrested may prove invaluable in building a defense. You need to be arrested in compliance with criminal law. This includes the rule that the officer who arrests you tells you that you have the right to remain silent and that anything you say can be held against you. If they don’t inform you of this during the arrest, there is a good chance that they don’t have a legitimate charge against you in the first place.
Other instances of rule-breaking include a police officer pulling you over without any reason and confiscating evidence from you only to use it against you illegally. If you’re subjected to these, you can ask your lawyer to bring them up in court; they’ll work in your favor.
Breathalyzers are another element of the arrest to look out for. If the cop uses a faulty machine, you may be wrongfully arrested. Know your rights so that you can stand up for them!
Are there situations when you can, strangely enough, be better off getting convicted than hiring an attorney? This might be the case if you’re getting arrested for the first time under DUI. Provided you haven’t injured other people while driving. You can receive a lighter sentence if it’s your first arrest. The criminal law in Florida allows for this provision.
In such a case, hiring an attorney or lawyer can ultimately lead to an identical sentence. The lawyer would barely make a difference, and you’ll be the poorer for it. Instead, if it’s your first time being charged for DUI, consider the possibility of getting convicted; this could save you some opportunity cost. On the other hand, if there is enough room for reasonable doubt, and the lawyer seems capable of building a strong defense, go for it- especially since getting convicted will increase your chances of trouble in the future. Neither option works well in every situation. You need your presence of mind to pick one that suits your circumstances.
You may legally opt for defending yourself in court, but there’s a good chance that you don’t have the required knowledge and acumen to build a convincing case. This is the reason it’s usually recommended to hire legal help. Our recommendation? Meltzer & Bell, P.A. Their impressive track record and formidable experience in dealing with DUI cases makes them the ideal candidate for you.
How do you judge whether you’re in reliable hands? Two initial parameters to keep in mind are:
You’re entrusting your future to your lawyer; do not be lenient in your demands. Closely assess their success ratio. See what news and media channels have said about them. If they have impressive client ratings, a list of awards, honors, and certifications, it’s a good sign that they will defend you well.
If you can’t afford a private lawyer or an attorney, the court grants you a public defender who has enough expertise in their field to provide you with adequate support. Here’s why they may not be the best option:
At the end of the day, a private defender will cost a fortune but serve you best. Go for the alternative only if you have no other choice.