A DUI arrest is a serious charge which could result in the loss of your driver's license, thousands of dollars in court fines, the loss of your job, time in jail or even prison. A DUI conviction also acts as a prior, meaning that if you get a second or third DUI conviction, the penalties are drastically worse.
Despite these serious consequences, I am surprised on how many people try to represent themselves in court to save the costs of attorney's fees. In so doing, they often miss the deadlines to request a DLD (driver's license division) hearing, lose their license, and then get the standard DUI punishment, even when a reduced punishment could have been negotiated.
If you are arrested for a DUI, you need a lawyer! A lawyer will help you schedule a timely DLD hearing which could help you keep your license. If a charge is filed against you in court, your lawyer's knowledge of the law could help you get your case dismissed, even if there is sufficient evidence for a conviction. For example, if the evidence in your case was obtained illegally, a lawyer can get it suppressed, which will usually result in the case being dismissed. Only someone well versed in the law, however, could recognize those types of errors.
In some cases, a lawyer is able to negotiate the DUI to a lesser offense that can save your license and have reduced penalties. If your case goes to trial, a lawyer can cross examine the prosecution's police and expert witnesses and point out limitations on the evidence.
I have been able to help my clients avoid the consequences of DUI, even when their cases seemed initially hopeless. For example, I had a client who refused to take an alcohol test at the police station. Normally, such a refusal results in the automatic suspension of a driver's license for an extensive period of time. I represented her at the DLD hearing, and she was able to keep her driver's license.
In court, I had a client who had multiple prior DUI's, and was looking at harsh penalties on the new DUI I was representing him on. Due to mistakes made by the police, however, I was able to get the entire case dismissed.
If you have been arrested for DUI, you need a lawyer as quickly as possible.