It’s my first DUI. Why fight it? Should I just go ahead and plea guilty?
The answer is no! The consequences of pleading guilty to a DUI, even if it’s your first DUI charge may be greater than you think. In D.C. Superior Court and Maryland, judges have a lot of discretion in how to fashion sentences. It is not automatic that you would get probation (or probation before judgement) when this is your first conviction. Depending on the facts in which you plead guilty to, sometimes the judge may send you to serve a jail sentence. Yes, even for first time offender. In addition, pleading guilty to a DUI may also affect your driving privileges or have collateral consequences, e.g. government clearance being revoked or employment status.
Arrested in DC for DUI
Moreover, if you are arrested in D.C., the process begins with an arraignment. This is the first time you will appear before a judge. At this hearing, you will hear what your criminal charges are, your constitutional rights. You will be given an opportunity to enter a plea. As your DUI attorney, our answer is always “plea not guilty.” At this time, the judge will set release conditions. As you can see, an arraignment can go into a lot of different directions. Prosecutor may ask for and judge may order you to follow a bunch of conditions which may be unnecessary. The bottom line is: you DO need a DUI lawyer from the very beginning of your case.
DUI lawyer’s job
It is our job to get you as little punishment as possible, even though you may think what you did was wrong. Sometimes, we may even be able to get the entire case dismissed. I am pretty sure the experience of the night of your DUI arrest, and the experience you are about to endure in court is punishment enough.
Arrested for DUI? Talk to a DUI Lawyer Now. Call us for a free telephone consultation.