When To Hire A DUI Attorney

If you've recently been involved in any type of incident while driving under the influence, you're likely to have a lot of questions. Nearly every year, the state laws regarding DUI punishment change, and staying well informed could mean the difference between a light and severe sentencing. Many first offenders tend to seek out an auto accident attorney that specializes in DUI representation.

However, depending on the nature and severity of your situation, doing so may end up simply wasting you money. While some circumstances require a lawyer's representation, others will only get processed in accordance with the letter of the law. Therefore, in order to help you understand how a DUI auto accident attorney might help your situation, this article will discuss the main reasons why you might want to seek out representation.

Personal Injury

Anytime there is a personal injury involved, hiring an auto accident attorney that specializes in DUI law will likely be beneficial to your case. As soon as another party comes into the picture, especially if injury is involved, the situation immediately becomes worse.

Harsher sentencing, fines, and jail time are usually associated with DUI injury cases, so making sure you have the best representation possible can help even the odds. An attorney with experience in DUI injuries will know the proper questions to ask to help determine if the other party was at fault in any way.

Here are a few examples of how an attorney might be able to deflect blame:

  • Injured party was under the influence as well, and wandered/drove into traffic at their own discretion
  • Injured party was jaywalking or otherwise breaking the law
  • Injured party was trespassing or had otherwise malicious intent

Auto Accident

Similar to cases pertaining to personal injury, anytime a DUI incident involves an accident, the stakes are immediately raised. As the severity of the outcome increases, so will the severity of the punishment, and if your case involves a serious accident, you could be facing serious fines or jail time. This is a perfect example of when a DUI auto accident attorney can help assess, explain, and work through your situation.

Here are a few examples of how an attorney might be able to deflect blame:

  • Road conditions provoked an accident, regardless of alcohol influence (e.g. potholes, fallen trees, power lines, flooding), causing either party to collide
  • Other driver was under the influence, wasn't paying attention, or otherwise negligent to the situation
  • Other driver wasn't registered, insured, or licensed to be operating a motor vehicle
  • Vehicle malfunctioned, causing events that were out of the drivers control

Property Damage

Anytime there is damage to property is a good example of when to bring in an attorney. Regardless of alcohol intake, there could be several extenuating circumstances that resulted in the accident and aforementioned property damage.

While your personal insurance might cover some basic property damage, many carriers indicate that if alcohol is involved in the accident, they're allowed to deny coverage. For this reason alone, hiring a qualified attorney could help determine if any other circumstances were at fault, shifting the blame away from you.

Here are a few examples of how an attorney might be able to deflect blame:

  • Road conditions provoked an accident, regardless of alcohol influence (e.g. potholes, fallen trees, power lines, flooding), causing collision with the property
  • The actions of other drivers caused you to swerve to avoid an auto accident, ultimately leading you to collide with something else
  • The property was in some way obstructing the roadway

Special Circumstances

Regardless of how similar most DUI cases are, every circumstance is different. There are a thousand different ways any single scenario could play out, and all of these could potentially affect how your case is heard, evaluated, and sentenced.

Here are a few examples of how an extenuating circumstance might require representation:

  • There was no eye-witness of evidence you were ever driving
  • You did not have access to your keys, or were unable to operate the vehicle
  • The vehicle was immobile or permanently stationary (disabled)
  • You were sleeping (vehicle off, but were resting inside the cabin)
  • Alcohol levels weren't properly tested, or drugs other than alcohol were involved
  • You have extenuating medical conditions (acid reflux) that might promote false symptoms of DUI
  • You were involved in an incident, left your vehicle, and were apprehended later under suspicion.

Being arrested for driving under the influence can be scary, and depending on the severity of your situation, can lead to some pretty substantial punishments. The DA, judge, and police officers involved will do all they can to maximize their case and secure your punishment. 

If your DUI case is fairly straightforward, hiring an auto attorney that specializes in DUI law might not be the most advisable as the laws regarding your punishment will be quite strict. However, if your situation relates to any of the unique circumstances listed within this article, by securing your own representation, you can help ensure you're receiving a fair trial. Contact a company like Fonvielle, Lewis, Foote & Messer for more information.