Pros and Cons of an Attorney If You Get a DUI

What are the pros and cons of fighting your DWI in Harris County?

Pros and Cons of an Attorney If You Get a DUI

The problem with DWIs is that they happen to good, hard-working Americans. They happen to you, your neighbor, even law enforcement agents. They happen to any of us who drink alcohol and then drive. They happen because we think we are sober enough to drive. Sometimes we may be, sometimes we may not be.

In either circumstance, you could potentially find yourself arrested and charged. It's usually a poorly maintained portable breathalyzer or an unscientific field sobriety test that becomes the deciding factor that gets you arrested.

And it's because of these things, alongside a breath or blood test taken at the station, you think the verdict is already in, so why fight it?

Fighting a DWI has its pros and cons, and experienced, Board Certified DWI and criminal defense lawyer Doug Murphy shares some of these pros and cons with you.

Full disclosure, though: Doug Murphy is the kind of attorney who routinely fights DWI cases and does not give up or does not settle. That means, he isn't interested in plea deals if they are not in your best interest.

That means he goes all the way to trial — in fact, preparing for trial from day one — because it is in your best interests almost always to do so unless he gets the case dismissed prior to trial.

But those kinds of dismissals usually materialize because you are preparing and negotiating with a trial in mind. With that said, here are some of the most common pros and cons of fighting your DWI in Harris County.

Pros: Reasons You Should Fight Your DWI in Harris County

First of all, you should know that not only should you but you CAN fight a DWI charge in Harris County, Texas. These charges are defensible, no matter how much evidence you think there is against you. Here is a list of pros why you should fight your DWI charge in Harris County.

Pro #1: You maximize chances for dismissal or acquittal

Fighting a DWI charge is often your only means to the dismissal of the charges or an acquittal at trial. In fact, if you do not fight your DWI, then you probably pleaded guilty or no contest.

Whether you do so at your arraignment or via a plea deal doesn't matter because the problem with this route: your chances for a dismissal or acquittal are nil and you end up with a criminal record. For most of you, the DWI charge was your first ever charge of any kind.

Now, a pleading of guilty or no contest lands you a criminal record. This record can have a serious impact on your life.

Pro #2: You help prevent the damage made by collateral consequences of a criminal record

If you do not fight your DWI charge, then — as mentioned above — you probably pleaded guilty or no contest, which means you now have a criminal record. Though you can now get a first-time DWI expunged, it's not so in all cases. And in the meantime, your arrest and criminal record are still out there.

In what's known as collateral consequences, you could find it hard to find a job, obtain housing, or be approved for a loan.

In some cases where you need either security clearance or a professional license — a pilot's license, nursing license, or medical license — your chances to acquire or maintain it can be hindered.

A first-time DWI will not mean an automatic denial of security clearance or a professional license, but it opens the door for questioning and the DWI conviction will remain in your profile for future reference when you need to renew the license or clearance, or for those times when you are charged with a DWI again.

Pro #3: You get to save your name in the community

Whether you ever cared before or not, if you are charged with a DWI, you will ly care what the community thinks of you, including family and co-workers or colleagues. It's embarrassing. It makes you look reckless. It can be demoralizing. Fighting the charge is your best bet to get it dismissed.

Prosecutors are overloaded and funding for the State to investigate and convict a person on a DWI charge can be limited.

Furthermore, with an attorney Doug Murphy who works on your behalf tirelessly, the prosecution knows you mean business, so saving your name in the community is possible if you fight the DWI charge.

Pro #4: You get to have your day in court

If you have been charged with a DWI, having your day in court can help you exonerate yourself. You get to tell your side of the story. You get to describe how the police behaved with you. You get to explain yourself.

From the stand, you get to talk to the jurors and let them get to know you. Having your day in court matters to you and your case.

It is the moment of truth when jury members are able to identify and empathize with you more so than they can with the State.

Pro #5: If convicted, your sentencing will ly be lighter than if you pleaded guilty initially or accepted a plea deal

By hiring the best attorney for you in Harris County, TX and fighting your charge, your attorney will ly strategize your defense so that the State's case is weakened enough to cause an acquittal.

Alternatively, if you are not acquitted, the defense weakened the State's case to the extent that caused the charges to be reduced and/or a lighter sentence to result.

The judge — un if you failed to fight your charge — has a chance to hear your story, learn a thing or two about you, and sympathize your position, and that can make all the difference in sentencing.

Cons: Reasons You May Not Want to Fight Your DWI in Harris County

There aren't many reasons you should not fight your DWI. Some attorneys may try to persuade you to take a plea deal instead of fight, but these deals are often not in your best interests.

You may think, however, that the police have your breath and/or blood tests, so the odds are you'll be found guilty so why expend all that money, time, an energy just to be found guilty in the end? That's the thing, with a skilled attorney, you can fight the charge.

That said, here are three reasons you may not want to fight your DWI charge in Harris County, Texas.

Con #1: It can be costly to fight a DWI

There are costs to fighting the DWI. As noted above, one of the costs of not fighting the charge are the collateral consequences you can expect if you plead guilty or no contest.

But of course, if you do decide to fight a DWI there are financial costs you can expect. Developing your defense is not inexpensive in certain situations.

If an accident reconstruction is needed, if expert testimony is required, if other circumstances mandate it, the costs can rise in addition to the attorney's fee.

That said, you can expect financial expenses, too, if you do not fight a DWI. Sentencing most often incorporates fines. There are also court fees that you will still have to pay and the possibility of restitution if you admitted to damaging any property or causing any bodily injury.

Pleading guilty or no contest does not free you of the financial burden of a DWI charge. Besides, in many cases, alleged DWI offenders hire an attorney who then talks the person into a plea deal, so you already paid attorney fees.

If you are going to pay for an attorney, pay for the best and fight the charge, or else your money is more or less wasted. And that's a financial cost you don't want to make.

Con #2: It can be time-consuming to fight a DWI

It's true. Fighting a DWI can take time, months to a year or even longer.

Gathering evidence, analyzing the evidence, negotiating with the State, filing pre-trial motions, attending hearings, conducting discovery, and then eventually going to trial all takes time, energy, and resources.

It can be stressful trying to remember everything you need to do about your DWI and still continue your day-to-day living.

But of course, that stress can be alleviated with an experienced, competent DWI lawyer in Houston TX. An attorney who knows the law, the court system, and the ins and outs of a DWI case is an attorney who can help put you at ease.

Doug Murphy is a Board Certified DWI and Board Certified criminal defense attorney who has been trusted by thousands of DWI clients throughout the years to take care of their cases and to contact them when they are needed.

In this way, clients can rest assured their case is in good hands and they are able to go on about their daily lives as though a big cloud is not hanging over their heads.

Con #3: There is no guarantee fighting the charge will result in a more favorable outcome for you

This is also true. Just because you fight a DWI charge and go to trial does not guarantee an outcome for you. Just about anything can happen at trial. It's a scary thought of leaving your future up to a jury of 6 or 12 people.

But again, this is where retaining an experienced, formidable attorney comes into play. Doug Murphy understands juries. Doug Murphy is strategic during voir dire, the time jury members are selected. He can identify who will work to your benefit and who will not.

Then, once at trial, he works the jury. He makes sure to identify with them, to connect with them, to garner their trust in him and in you.

This is also why when choosing an attorney, you want one who has the kind of experience Doug Murphy has, someone who has deep trial experience and has been successful at it.

When to Contact the Best DWI Attorney in Harris County for You

Doug Murphy is the best at what he does. His clients attest to it. His peers confirm it.

When he isn't fighting on your behalf to dismiss DWI charges or acquit you on DWI charges, he is traveling Texas and beyond to teach other attorneys how to defend their clients in DWI cases.

He has a deep commitment to his work and to his clients. Winning your DWI case is his main priority. Contact Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. today either online or at (713) 229-8333 to discuss your case.


Should I get a lawyer for my first DUI?

Pros and Cons of an Attorney If You Get a DUI

Palm Beach County DUI Attorney, Dan Bottari

If you've never been arrested for a DUI before, you're probably wondering whether or not you need to hire a DUI attorney. Oftentimes we get this question when a client comes to us with no prior record.

Since prosecutors will typically offer a first-offense plea deal, it can be hard to know whether or not you really need an attorney – after all, if you're going to take a deal, is hiring a DUI attorney worth it?  You can contact our office today for a free consultation at 561-588-2781. 

BAC and Probable Cause

In most DUI cases there are two main factors that lead to the arrest: BAC and Probable Cause.

  • BAC, or blood alcohol concentration, is determined by a breath, blood, or urine test. A breath or blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher is enough to be charged with DUI. While you do have the option to refuse the test, you do not have the right to refuse. By signing up for a Florida driver's license, you've already agreed to give consent to a breath test upon a lawful arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol.
  • However, in order for the police to be able to test your BAC, they have to have a legal reason for pulling you over. This is what we call probable cause. Probable cause is based entirely on the officer's judgement. The officer will look for a driving pattern indicative of impairment (failing to maintain a single lane, swerving, weaving, etc.), restlessness, body tremors, grinding teeth, droopy eyelids, odor of marijuana, slurred speech, fumbling of the driver's license, difficulty getting the car, poor performance on field sobriety exercises and many other indicators of impairment to establish probable cause for the arrest.

A good DUI attorney will investigate the BAC Test and the Probable Cause involved in your case to see if it is possible to file a motion to suppress. A motion to suppress means that certain evidence can be thrown court.

For example, if your lawyer successfully argues that the arresting officer didn't have sufficient probable cause to pull you over, and the traffic stop is ruled to be invalid, then everything that happened after that invalid stop (such as the results of your breathalyzer test) will also be thrown out.

Plea Deal Negotiations

Prosecutors usually have a standard first-offense plea offer for DUI cases.

They may offer this deal to anyone who has a “standard first DUI” charge – for instance, when the defendant has no prior DUIs and their arrest did not come with any additional factors such as accidents, injuries, or an extremely high BAC.

A prosecutor's standard first DUI plea deal is generally at the lower end of the sentencing guidelines, so many defendants will jump at the opportunity to take the deal and move on from their case.

Accepting a plea deal before speaking with a defense attorney is a huge mistake, and it's one of the most frequent ones we see as Delray Beach DUI lawyers. Remember, the facts of every case are unique, so just because you blew above 0.

08 does not mean you should give up and take a guilty plea without getting a second opinion first. A DUI conviction in Florida will stay on your criminal history forever and it cannot be expunged or sealed.

A DUI conviction will also stay on your Florida driver's license for 75 years, which can lead to higher insurance rates, employment restrictions, and more. You do not want a DUI charge on your record!

An experienced DUI attorney will be familiar with the South Florida courts, judges, and prosecutors, and oftentimes your lawyer can use this experience to your advantage, negotiating for an even better plea deal by pointing out weaknesses in the State's case or bringing to light other mitigating factors in your situation. For example, one of the best reasons to hire a DUI lawyer for your first DUI is to try to reduce your DUI to reckless driving. We call this a “wet reckless” charge. There are pros and cons to this defense strategy, so it should be discussed with your lawyer to make sure it's in your best interest, but in general pleading down to a reckless driving charge carries less severe penalties, lower fines, less points added to your driver's license, and less potential jail time than a DUI conviction.

First DUI Driver's License Suspension

Another reason to consider hiring a DUI attorney for your first DUI charge is the driver's license suspension. Under Florida law, a person who is arrested for their first DUI must undergo an administrative driver's license suspension for anywhere from 6 months to 1 year.

It is possible, however, for first time offenders to obtain a waiver that allows them to drive for business purposes during the administrative suspension period.

Business purpose is defined as: “a driving privilege limited to any driving necessary to maintain livelihood, including driving to and from work, necessary on-the-job driving, driving for educational purposes, and driving for church and for medical purposes.

” In order to request a review with the Administrative Review Hearing Office, there are strict rules and procedures that must be followed, so it's best to have a DUI attorney at your side who is experienced with helping first-time DUI offenders get their license reinstatement.

Public Defender vs. Private Lawyer for First DUI

If you don't already have a lawyer for your DUI case, the court will appoint one for you. These appointed attorneys are called public defenders. There are pros and cons to being represented by a public defender.

A public defender handles many criminal cases, including DUIs, so they will be knowledgeable about the law and familiar with the district attorney's office and judges. However, a public defender also has a large caseload, so oftentimes a defendant will feel their case is not getting the maximum attention it deserves.

Also, you can't choose a public defender – you're stuck with who you get. Finally, a public defender will not handle the administrative proceedings at the DMV for you, so you'll have to do those on your own.

On the other hand, while hiring a private DUI lawyer costs money, some attorneys offer free consultations, which means you can get to know them first, have your questions answered, and get a good feeling for the type of legal representation they will offer you. In some cases, having your own dedicated DUI lawyer means that you may not have to appear in court at all, as they can handle everything for you. Additionally, a good DUI attorney will be available 24/7 to address your questions or concerns.

Bottari & Doyle – DUI Lawyers for South Florida

A DUI does not have to ruin your life. If you get a lawyer, fight your case, and negotiate a good deal, you may be able to go on with your life with relatively little change.

If your attorney can win your case or get the charges dropped, you won't even have a DUI on your record.

At Bottari & Doyle, we offer free consultations for all Florida DUI cases, and our top-rated attorneys have the skills and experience to fight for you – contact us today to get started building your defense.


Should I Hire A Lawyer For A DUI Charge?

Pros and Cons of an Attorney If You Get a DUI

When you first get your driving license, the instructor, your family, and everyone in your life drum many things in your ears. The top on the list might have been to ensure that you use your seatbelt or that you never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is because getting a DUI charge is serious business.

Not only is driving under the influence a serious crime, but it also causes harm to people. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the U.S involve drunk drivers. The preceding shows that DUIs are much more common than people think.

The US Department of Justice records that more than 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence in 2016. If the police charged you with a DUI and are wondering if you should get a lawyer, this article answers the question. To learn more, contact an experienced Boise DUI lawyer today.

What Are Your Choices?

When the police charge you for a DUI, you have three choices of representation. You can choose to represent yourself, get a private lawyer, or a public defender.

Representing Yourself

While you are entitled to a public defender, you can choose to defend yourself in court. You will have to weigh your pros and cons if you decide to do this. Ask yourself important questions such as:

Do I have the legal experience required to assess this case? Do I have enough understanding of the administrative processes it takes to ensure a favorable outcome?

Answering these questions sincerely will help you understand if you are willing to represent yourself for a DUI charge. It takes years for Boise DUI lawyers to gain enough knowledge to represent people in court. So, you should not take it lightly if you are not sure what to do. Also, judges might not be too patient with you if you do not understand the rules to follow while in court.

Using a Public Defender

If you are facing a DUI charge, you have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, the court will appoint an attorney from the public defender’s office. Most public defenders have handled quite many DUI cases before, so they know what to do.

However, you must also understand that a public defender has a large caseload. They do not have the liberty to pick and choose private lawyers. As such, your case might not get the attention it requires for you to win.

Also, the public defender’s jurisdiction only goes as far as the criminal court. It means that you might have to represent yourself in the administrative per se proceedings of your DUI charge.

Getting a Private Lawyer

If you can afford one, hire a private lawyer. A private Boise DUI attorney will represent you in the administrative proceedings and criminal court. Of course, this increases your chances of a reduced license suspension.

Also, Boise DUI lawyers typically have lighter caseloads than public lawyers. It means that they can focus their resources on representing you and helping you get a favorable outcome. Even though hiring a private lawyer can be expensive, it is usually worth it as a DUI attorney is more ly to help you minimize the time you spend in court.

If you are a very busy person, this time saved is essential. In addition, if your lawyer is experienced, they will have an in-depth understanding of the law and use it to your advantage. They could even help you to get a better plea bargain or get your case dismissed.

On top of other advantages are the private consultation sessions you get with lawyers. You can have one-on-one sessions where you ask questions and set your mind at ease.

Is It Always a Good Idea to Hire a Lawyer?

In some cases, some people decide that it is too much effort to hire a lawyer. This occurs mostly in first offenses. Prosecutors usually have the same deal for anyone who has no prior DUI convictions. As such, whether or not you have an attorney, you may be ly to get the same standard offer.

The standard offer is usually a starting point for negotiations. Your Boise DUI lawyer could renegotiate until you get an offer that works for you. They can do this by highlighting weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case. If you were representing yourself, you might not have known that.

Let’s Help You Out!

Are you in Boise and facing a DUI charge? Let our experienced Boise DUI attorneys examine your case and proffer solutions to help you. Book a free consultation with us now to get started.


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