If you or someone you care about has been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, consider hiring a specialized DUI attorney.
1. DUI Charges
When you have been charged with DUI, you need someone on your side. You are probably full of questions and worries and feel that the whole world is against you. Contacting these DUI lawyers in Seattle would be a great start.
Your initial DUI charge may include suspension of your license. Think about how this will affect your daily life and whether you will be able to keep up with family and work obligations if you can't drive. A second DUI conviction can include large fines, a longer suspension of your license and even jail time.
Do you think you can survive all of these possibilities? If the answer is "no", defending yourself at the trial is not a good idea since more of these things are likely to happen to you without a lawyer.
2. Public Defenders
Maybe you're thinking you don't want to go it alone but can't afford a lawyer. If that is the case, you could be assigned a public defender.
Public defenders are not necessarily bad lawyers. However, they are always juggling many clients and cases at the same time and you may feel they are not really dedicated to you. Instead of having lots of time to negotiate, public defenders may have so many cases they can't devote much time to each of them. Because of that, they might take any deal that is offered to you and it might not be the best one.
Also, if you get assigned a general law public defender, they might not have defended even one DUI case.
3. DUI Attorneys
A private DUI attorney is who you want to hire. You want someone familiar with DUI cases and who has the time needed to talk to you and plan your defense.
You may be reluctant to meet with an attorney because you feel they will look down on you. This is not the case, however, since they have chosen to defend you and others in your situation. They truly want to help you. Feel free to turn the case over to their expert hands so that you will be able to give up some of the pressure you're feeling.
Specialized DUI lawyers have handled cases like yours many times. They know how to negotiate with other lawyers and judges. They may even be able to get your case dismissed.
If not, your fines may be lowered or you my not need to give up your license for as long a period of time.
4. Payment vs. Fines
Even if you agree that an experienced DUI attorney is the way to go, you may be tempted not to contact one because you are afraid of what they will charge.
Think of it this way: If you lose your case, you could end up paying more in fines than a lawyer might cost. You might even go to jail. A lawyer may be able to get the case dismissed for you.
At your first meeting, discuss payment options. If you like the lawyer, but they do not offer a payment plan, consider getting a loan or charging as much as you can on a credit card. When you think about all that is at stake, you should feel it is worth the cost.
Think about the other areas of your life where you use specialists. If you break your wrist, you don't go to your general practitioner, you go to an orthopedic specialist. When your child doesn't understand math, you would get them a math tutor, not a reading specialist.
The lawyer you hire to help you through your DUI charges, should be a specialist in DUI, not a general lawyer or one assigned by the state. Get the best help you can.