What is a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer?
When police pull you over and arrest you for driving under the influence of alcohol, you may feel that you have no legal recourse. After all, the breath test and field sobriety tests proved your intoxicated state while behind the wheel. Further, if over-consuming alcohol led you to cause an accident, you have even more stacked against you. Why hire a drunk driving accident lawyer with such conclusive evidence?
By consulting with a DUI legal advocate, you may gain access to resources that can defuse the results of the field sobriety or breath test. Even if the results were accurate, a lawyer has the knowledge and experience you need to reduce your charges as much as possible. Many people feel that it makes little sense to hire a legal representative after receiving a DUI. However, neglecting to do so could cost much more in the long run. It is only by knowing your rights that you can protect them.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
Without proper legal training, you cannot properly assess the weaknesses and strengths of the DUI charge against you. An experienced legal defender can. Just like other legal areas, DUI law changes over time, requiring a specialized focus to keep up with the latest developments in your state.
You can represent yourself in DUI court, but doing so is ill-advised. Judges often look down on defendants who represent themselves because such defendants do not know how court rules work. Even if a lawyer cannot help you avoid a conviction for your DUI or the accident you caused, he or she can work to reduce the severity of your drunk driving sentence.
Why Hire an Attorney for a First DUI?
Getting a DUI for the first time is no big deal, right? You pay a fine, endure a suspended license term, complete a treatment course and pay more in car insurance. Even if you plead guilty to the charges, especially if you caused a motor vehicle accident, connecting with a legal advocate helps set you up for success in the years ahead. For instance, you may not be aware of the full extent of DUI penalties, such as community service, probation, monitored sobriety and fines. Lawyers are familiar with the extent of penalties that you may face, and they can work to minimize them.
Another reason to hire a legal defense is so that you do not miss essential deadlines. Failing to turn in documents on time could result in worsening penalties.
How Can a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Help With SR22 Insurance?
After receiving a DUI, expect your car insurance provider to learn of the charge when you renew your policy. Your agent may drop you as a customer, as you could become too much of a risk to insure. You may have no choice but to secure SR22 insurance so that you have the minimum insurance coverage necessary in your state. A DUI legal representative can help you find a policy so that you can get back on the road once you get your license back.
Depending on your state, you may need to have SR-22 coverage for three years, which is something that a lawyer can help with. No matter how long you must carry a policy, do everything within your power to ensure that your policy does not lapse. If that happens, you may lose your license, but the consequences may not end there, depending on your geographic location.
How Can a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Help Expunge a DUI?
In the months following your DUI, you may want to look into expunging the charge. One essential fact about DUI expungement is that it only clears your criminal record, not your driving record. Even then, DUIs do not remain on driving records forever. Further, not every state permits DUI expungement, such as Mississippi and Texas.
Drunk driving lawyers help you meet expungement requirements:
- Completing your probation (if probation was part of your sentence)
- Complying with the terms of your probation
- Not having pending criminal charges when you seek expungement
Attorneys also help their clients petition for expungement. This requires filing a motion for relief and an affidavit and paying filing fees. You must also inform the prosecuting attorney of your intent to file. A judge may have to review your petition and oversee your hearing. At this hearing, your legal defendant can show why you deserve a DUI expungement. You could also state your case yourself.
How Can a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Help Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents?
Maybe rather than receiving a DUI, you were involved in a car accident with a drunk driver. If so, you may be buried under medical bills, lost wages, car repairs and potentially permanent injuries. Even if you have insurance, your provider may not honor your claim for all that it is worth. Because you should focus on healing and getting your life back together, you may not have the mental reserves or insight needed to fight for the compensation you need to heal physically and financially.
Seeking damages for a drunk driving accident comes with several nuances. For instance, you have more than a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver. You must also consider the criminal offense of drunk driving and the resulting criminal case. You may have to wait until the drunk driver completes the criminal case before you can take your personal injury case to court, which could take several months. After the criminal case concludes, the at-fault driver may not have the financial resources to compensate you and anyone else injured in the intoxicated driving accident. Rather than deal with this headache, turn things over to a trusted legal advocate.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer
Do you need help wading through your DUI charges to minimize your penalties? Were you hit or otherwise injured by a drunk driver? Do not delay in getting the professional legal help you need and deserve. Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!