If you have been arrested for DUI in Fairfax, you may be tempted to represent yourself at your court hearings and accept your punishment. You may not believe that you can do anything to change the outcome if you know that you were intoxicated and failed the breath test. However, this is not true—even if you think you are guilty—but you will need the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney.
Five Reasons to Hire an Experienced DUI Attorney
Driving under the influence is a misdemeanor offense in Virginia and is aggressively prosecuted in Fairfax and Northern Virginia. You face hefty fines, possible jail sentence, a driver’s license suspension, and a permanent criminal record that can affect your employment, security clearance, ability to obtain a loan, green card eligibility, and much more.
You cannot hope to avoid these harsh consequences without the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney. Here is why a lawyer is essential:
- Understanding the law. DUI laws in Virginia are complicated, and understanding them can be critical to building a strong defense to the charges you face. An attorney who handles many DUI cases will have a thorough understanding of the laws that govern your case. He will also know the procedural rules that must be followed throughout your court proceedings.
- Identifying defenses. Even if you are guilty, you may have defenses that may result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. Lack of probable cause to arrest you, failure to give you your Miranda rights, or improper administration of field sobriety tests or the breathalyzer test are a few strong defenses in DUI cases. An attorney will be able to identify the defenses that apply to your case and effectively raise them in court.
- Retaining experts. Depending on the defenses in your case, you may need to hire expert witnesses. For example, if you are challenging the results of a breathalyzer test, an expert may be needed to explain what error was committed that caused your test results to be incorrect. Your attorney would have a network of experts that could help.
- Entering a plea agreement. Many DUI cases are resolved through a plea agreement with the prosecutor as to the charges or sentence. A lawyer will know if this is the best outcome for you given your criminal history and facts surrounding your arrest and will be able to negotiate a much more favorable plea agreement than you can on your own.
- Conducting your trial. If you decide that you must take your case to trial, you need a lawyer who has experience successfully trying DUI cases as well as resolving them through plea bargains. At your trial, he will be able to challenge the Commonwealth’s case against you and present witnesses and evidence that supports your defenses.
How to Find an Experienced DUI Lawyer
While many attorneys handle DUI cases, not all have the experience you need to achieve the best possible outcome. You want one who handles many of these cases and has a track record of successfully resolving and trying them. Having a local attorney is also important because he will have a working relationship with the prosecutor and will understand the court procedures where your case is being decided.
At Greenspun Shapiro PC, our experienced Fairfax DUI attorneys have decades of experience aggressively fighting for the rights of our clients who face DUI charges. We understand the long-lasting consequences of a DUI conviction and will work hard to achieve the best possible outcome for you. Take advantage of our free consultation to meet with a member of our legal team. Start an online chat or call our Fairfax office to schedule your appointment today.