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Choosing a DUI Lawyer

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Drivers who have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 percent or higher are considered drunk and are in violation of the law. If you are pulled over and your BAC exceeds the legal limit, you will likely be arrested. However, there are several legal protections designed to protect people charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). If the proper procedures were not followed during your arrest process, your rights may have been violated. Only a DUI lawyer can tell you for sure.

DUI Laws

Punishment for DUI and DWI ranges from fines to license suspension to jail time, depending on the severity of the charges. For example, a first offense for driving under the influence will likely result in lesser punishment than multiple offenses. If you were involved in a car accident or other motor vehicle accident, the charges may be more severe than if you were pulled over for weaving through traffic. However, if your rights were violated, a DWI attorney may be able to get your sentence reduced, help you keep your driver's license, or get the charges dropped altogether.

To determine your rights, you will need to hire a lawyer. An experienced DUI lawyer will know who to interview and what issues to look into to determine whether your rights were violated. For example, if the arresting officer failed to read you your Miranda rights, you may be able to get the charges dismissed. In addition, some states' "implied consent" laws may conflict with your Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.

Choosing the Right DUI Attorney

Before hiring a DUI lawyer, make sure to do your homework. In some cases you may want to interview more than one DWI attorney. This can help you identify the best attorney for you. Considering the severity of some DWI penalties — ranging from DUI bail costs and fines to license suspension and potential DUI or DWI jail time — it is important that you select a qualified lawyer to handle your case. Many DUI lawyers do not charge a fee for the initial consultation. (Can I get bail for DUI?)

DUI lawyers whose criminal law practices are dedicated to DWI cases possess the knowledge needed to effectively handle your case. Criminal lawyers specializing in DUI defense have the experience necessary to determine quickly if there are grounds for dismissal of the charges against you, and if not, they can help minimize the severity of the situation and improve your chances of keeping your license by negotiating alternative penalties, such as community service and driving safety classes.

It is always a good idea to check the credentials of any DUI Lawyer you are considering. Ask about the outcomes of their previous cases since success in past cases is a good indication of future success.