4 Signs You’ve Hired the Right DUI Lawyer

4 Signs You’ve Hired the Right DUI Lawyer

When you’re facing a DUI charge, it’s important to know you have the right lawyer for the job. Hiring the wrong DUI attorney can result in criminal penalties that linger on your record long after your case is resolved. If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, keep these points in mind when interviewing potential attorneys:

They Know How To Get Results for Their Clients

The right DUI lawyer will do more than merely go over courtroom procedures. A good DUI attorney knows how to handle cases from start to finish, and get results that meet a client’s expectations. Maintain a list of prospective lawyers who come highly recommended by friends or family members who have been through the process with their own DUI case. Word-of-mouth recommendations can be invaluable when selecting an attorney who is knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced in this area of law. But make sure you check references—even if a friend vouching for a specific attorney seems like an endorsement, don’t rush into anything.

They Offer Free Consultations or a Flat Fee Package Structure

A good DUI lawyer won’t charge you until they obtain results for you in court. Look for legal counsel that offers free consultations to assess the facts of your case and determine whether it would be beneficial to go forward with the representation. If their fee structure is based only on results, then you know upfront how much it will cost to hire them. Make sure potential attorneys spell out their fees clearly and what services are included in the quoted price so there aren’t any hidden charges once the trial has begun, or if the attorney decides to take your case before a jury. It can also provide peace of mind when your attorney can explain how they plan on achieving a positive result for you within a certain time frame.

They Are Available During the Entire Process

Look for an attorney who will be available from arrest to the resolution of your case. You should feel comfortable in sharing the facts of your situation with them and have access to the nearly 24 hours a day. Keep in mind that you may encounter unexpected delays or complications along the way, so it’s important to hire an attorney who will be accessible when you need answers or help. This can make all the difference between continuing with court proceedings versus cutting out early because of unforeseen circumstances. If at any point during your case you are dissatisfied with the level of communication with your attorney, you can always find someone else to handle the case.

They Are Knowledgeable About DUI Law and Experienced in Courtroom Arguments

When interviewing potential attorneys, take time to ask them tough questions about your case. Make sure your Baltimore DUI lawyer knows every aspect of a driver’s arrest from questioning by police officers to BAC testing procedures to courtroom procedures and strategy. A good candidate will be able to explain the process in detail and answer all your questions to put your concerns at ease. Don’t settle for a standard response just because an attorney is close by or convenient; prospective DUI attorneys should have a thorough knowledge of the laws surrounding drunk driving that goes beyond simply researching statutes on their own.

The Legal Difference Between Homicide & Murder

One of the most common myths I deal with is people having a misconception about what it means to murder as opposed to committing some other serious crime such as homicide or manslaughter. This misconception is so rampant that I would be willing to bet that almost every person who has ever been in trouble for any criminal offense believes they were wrongly charged and that they could have beaten the charge if only it was “murder” instead of some lesser included offense. That’s probably true in many cases (it certainly is for me), but there are certain crimes where the distinction between murder and another serious crime makes a very big difference. So let’s talk about how homicide differs from murder in New Jersey.

In most cases, the term “murder” is an emotive one that often conjures up images of brutal killings or murders committed by serial killers, and that may be why some people make such a big deal out of it. The reality though is that there are many different degrees of murder in NJ (and throughout the country), which range from 1st degree to 4th degree. Murder is typically defined as when someone purposely causes the death of another human being under circumstances involving recklessness, malice, or depravity that demonstrate a complete disregard for life. First and second-degree murders require premeditation (the perpetrator planned to kill that person before they did so), but can also involve an act during the commission of another violent felony crime, or an act to cover up a prior crime. Third-degree murder does not require any advanced planning on the part of the perpetrator and can be committed in furtherance of some other serious offense such as robbery or arson. Finally, fourth-degree murder is usually referred to as criminally negligent homicide (causing the death of another person by criminal negligence) although it’s also sometimes referred to as involuntary manslaughter (if there was no intent to kill).

Of course, what makes all these crimes so interesting for this blog post is that they carry very different sentences depending upon the severity of the charge. First-degree murder carries a potential penalty of 20 years to life in prison with a conviction whereas fourth-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison.

So what’s the lesson here? It probably isn’t that you should try to get yourself charged with murder instead of another crime such as homicide or manslaughter (although there are always exceptions). The real lesson is that when it comes time to discuss your criminal case with an attorney, you need to make sure that you aren’t assuming you were charged with murder when it was some other more serious offense such as 2nd degree aggravated assault. Mistakes like this can have disastrous consequences because they affect whether or not a judge will allow certain evidence at trial and how serious a potential penalty might be.…

Penalties for a First-Time DUI Conviction

DUI penalties have increased significantly in the past few decades as legislators attempt to get tough on drunk driving. While a first-time offender may benefit from a plea bargain, the risks of pleading guilty can be quite high. Under the legal system, the prosecutor is not required to offer any type of plea agreement; if he or she decides to do so, it will almost certainly be on his or her terms and right before trial. After an arrest for an alleged drunk driving offense, you should consult with an experienced criminal lawyer immediately to avoid making decisions that could result in a more severe sentence than necessary.

Factors Your Attorney Will Review When Determining Your Defense for a First-Time Offense Charge

If you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), your criminal defense lawyer will likely begin by examining any evidence related to your arrest. This may include police reports and witness statements, as well as a chemical analysis report that details the amount of alcohol in your blood system at the time of your alleged offense.

Your attorney will evaluate both the law enforcement officer’s conduct during his investigation and whether you officially submitted to a breathalyzer test or field sobriety tests at the scene. He or she may also consider whether you have an alcohol problem that led to this incident. If so, he or she could present this information to prosecutors in hopes of getting you into an alcohol rehabilitation program rather than prison if convicted.

Legal Penalties for a First DUI Offense

The penalties for your first drunk driving offense will depend on whether the incident occurred in an area considered to be a “safety zone” under the law. If you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) while operating a vehicle within 1,000 feet of a school zone or recreation center, any potential sentence is substantially more severe than it would have been otherwise. For example, if you are convicted of DUI with fatalities while inside this safety zone, you could face up to 15 years in prison and a fine as high as $10,000. The minimum fines associated with these violations increase by 100 percent if they occur near school buses when children are outside boarding or leaving them.

Type of Penalties You May Face for a First-Time Offense Charge Based on Blood Alcohol Content Level (BAC)

The number of drinks it takes to put you over the legal limit depends on several factors, including your weight and gender. In general, you can subtract one point from the legal BAC limit for each hour that has passed since you started drinking. For example, if the legal limit in Florida is .08 percent but only two hours have passed since your last drink, it would take at least five drinks to put you over this legal limit.