WHY SHOULD I HIRE A DUI ATTORNEY?

Sep 1, 2015 @ 04:27 PM — by Myles L. Berman

INTENET RESEARCH MAY NOT BE RELIABLE

There are many options available when it comes to DUI representation. Recently, DUI arrestees have begun performing their own research to become better informed about what they are facing in their DUI case. In theory, this research can assist a person in crafting his or her DUI defense strategy.  There are several problems, however, with this approach. First, the information provided is only as good as its source. For instance, a person can go to a site such as YouTube and watch an attorney based in Texas give an hour long video on how to handle a DUI. Assuming this information is current and accurate, it can only strictly be applied to Texas arrestees as Texas law does not apply to DUI arrests in other states. So, a California DUI arrestee would not be able to use this information. DUI laws are so expansive and constantly changing, that information is quickly outdated and very difficult to compile in a logical order. Another problem occurs when one does not fully understand the governing laws. For example, certain California Rules of Evidence that apply to the court proceeding for a DUI case would not necessarily apply to the DMV case as the DMV is an administrative proceeding and does not have the same standards as a criminal court proceeding. A person who tries to apply the same law in different settings would be setting himself or herself up for failure – or at least a lot of disappointment.

RETAINED COUNSEL BETTER FOR TOTAL DUI REPRESENTION

Some individuals may research and decide to save money by enlisting the aid of a Public Defender (“PD”). The problem with this decision is that the PD is legally prohibited from DMV representation. PD’s can only represent people in criminal cases – not administrative law hearings.   As such, the PD will not have enough training or experience to advise a person of the DMV consequences of his or her DUI case; or, how to handle the DMV side of the individual’s case. Because the DMV case many times has a greater impact on a person’s life than the criminal case, a person should strongly consider investing in an attorney who is well versed in both the criminal and administrative side of DUI law.

DUI DEFENSE IS HIGHLY SPECIALIZED AREA

And lastly, how do you decide what kind of attorney should represent you on a DUI case? Some people retain an attorney with whom they have an established relationship based upon that attorney’s prior legal representation in non-DUI matters. The problem with this is that DUIs are an area of law that is so nuanced that unless an attorney limits his practice area to DUI laws there is no way that that attorney will be well versed on DUI defense. That attorney may be exceptional in his or her normal practice area. However, DUI law cannot be mastered in a couple of weeks. The best DUI attorneys have honed their craft over years. For that reason, I advise that a person should invest in a DUI attorney. If not, that person will be selling himself short.

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