It's a sinking feeling to be charged with DUI. What will happen to your license, your job and your reputation? Few charges feel as ironclad as the decimal-laden number that the breath test told to the officer.
While a DUI arrest is a serious matter, there are many common defenses and different penalties. It depends how evidence was collected, why you were pulled over in the first place, and the exact scenario of your arrest. If your BAC test was significantly above the legal limit of .08, for example, or if there was a car accident, the penalty will be more severe.
While you're legally allowed to argue your own defense, an experienced attorney may be able to find alternate methods of punishment that help to keep your license. If you need to drive for work or if you need time at home to care for a young family, there may be options that reduce jail time or loss of license.
Such is the case in a Texas ruling where an intoxicated driver hit and killed a 34 year-old woman. After serving light jail time immediately, the defendant will return to jail annually on the anniversary of the accident to fulfill his punishment.
Reputation and defense
The sentence is a creative solution that penalizes but lets the defendant maintain a personal life with less obstruction. This ruling came with support from the victim's family and it shows that no punishment is set in stone.
In hiring an attorney, it's not just about the law but finding someone who understands your situation and your own needs, like in the Texas sentencing. In other cases, you may not have been driving under the influence at all and you need an attorney to show this to the court, leaving the flashing lights and unsettled anxiety in the rearview mirror.