Google “DUIs in the United States” and it’s not hard to get the cold, hard facts. A CBS news story published in early 2017 cited the fact that drunk driving killed an average of 28 people per day in American in 2016, in increase of 7.2 percent from the previous year. Those are scary statistics. And the problem continues to grow.
Yet, only some 11 percent of drivers surveyed in a nationwide poll admit to ever being drunk behind the wheel. “Admit” is likely the key word in this survey.
Chances are that many more individuals drink and drive, and many of those individuals find themselves in a difficult situation when they are arrested for impaired driving and face felony charges.
Sadly, statistics also show that at least half of all individuals who lose their license in a driving-while-intoxicated (DWI) situation keep driving, despite a suspended license.
As a result, many of them become repeat offenders and face even more serious changes the second time around.
Hence, finding the right legal help for a DUI conviction is essential, especially for those facing the potential of severe penalties. A strong defense strategy is necessary and could mean the difference between freedom and incarceration.
Furthermore, the Pennsylvania DUI law is complex and interpreting the laws as they pertain to a particular case demands an experienced DUI lawyer who will work hard to resolve the charges.
An experienced lawyer who possesses aggressive investigation techniques and who is willing to fight to win is essential. Look for an attorney who:
- Specializes in DUI defense
- Devotes a majority of his/her time to DUI/DWI cases
- Has DUI trial courtroom experience
- Knows how to challenge chemical test results (blood or breath tests)
- Can show a record of wins in DUI cases
Hiring a DUI lawyer will almost always affect the outcome of one’s drunk driving case in a positive manner. DUI defendants who hire private lawyers are known to fare better than those with a public defender or with no representation at all.
A survey conducted by the Martindale-Nolo Research Group discovered that 22% of people who hired private lawyers were able to plea bargain for lesser, non-DUI offenses.
Conversely, only 7% of public-defender clients and 0% of self-represented defendants ended up with such “lesser” pleas, clearly exhibiting the need for a top-notch, DUI attorney who can dedicate himself/herself to a particular case.
Potential defendants in a DUI case should schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney to get a clear picture of DUI/DWI laws and penalties in their state, to determine options for plea or sentence bargaining, and to clarify any fees associated with hiring a good defense lawyer (including plea vs. trial costs) as well as other fees that may be imposed.