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Should I Get a Lawyer for My First DUI?

Published in Criminal Law on June 25, 2018.

dui offense indianaDriving under the influence is a serious offense.

Nevertheless, at Eskew Law, we occasionally hear from people who question whether they need a lawyer if this is their first time arrested for DUI.

We believe that it is vitally important that you retain counsel your first DUI.

DUIs charges are fairly complex to navigate, and it is critical to have an experienced attorney with you throughout the process to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf.

Consider the following:

Did You Take a Roadside Chemical Test?

In addition to any court-ordered suspension, if you refused a chemical test after being stopped, then you will become subject to a one-year suspension associated with the refusal.  It will be very difficult to get to work and meet other responsibilities without your license, so you would benefit from a lawyer’s assistance.

Do You Understand How a Conviction Will Affect Subsequent Convictions?

You should always try to keep any and all DUIs off your record. Once you receive an initial conviction, you will face greater punishment for any subsequent DUIs, including, but not limited to:

  • A second DUI carries a mandatory five days in jail or 240 days of community service.
  • A third DUI carries a mandatory 10 days in jail and 480 hours of community service.
  • Further, there may also include other restrictions required by the court, such as an ignition interlock device which you must pay to have installed on your car.

Don’t wait for a second or third DUI to finally get around to hiring an attorney to help you. Your best defense is to try to keep an initial DUI off your record so that you will not face steeper punishments later if you become charged with DUI offense again.

Did Someone Become Injured in the Accident?

If you injure someone while driving intoxicated, you will face much more severe punishments. Regardless of whether this is your first DUI or not.

In particular, if you cause serious bodily injury to another person, Indiana will treat the accident as a Level 6 felony which carries a maximum punishment of up to 2.5 years in prison. If someone died in the accident, Indiana can charge you with a Level 5 felony.

Furthermore, if you have a prior DUI on your record within the applicable time period, the state can upgrade the level of the offense. For example, a fatality sometimes becomes treated as a Level 4 felony.

Can you fight your DUI and/or help reinstate your driving privileges?

The best outcome, to get a DUI taken off your record so that it no longer hangs over your head. In some situations, officers do not properly perform tests or advise you of your rights, which may also help your situation.  This includes, but not limited to the following:

  • The officer does not tell you the consequences of refusing a chemical test and does not give you a second chance to take one.
  • Or, the officer does not properly log your refusal to take a chemical test.
  • The officer does not perform the test properly or follow the necessary protocols.

Only a qualified DUI attorney can carefully canvass the factual record to identify whether you can fight your DUI charge.

Speak with an Indiana DUI Attorney Today

An initial arrest for DUI is a very serious event, but you do have options for contesting the charge. At Eskew Law, we represent drivers arrested for DUI, and we are here to help you. Contact us today for an initial consultation by calling 317-794-2431.

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