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How to Know When it’s Time to Hire a DUI Defense Lawyer

by | Oct 14, 2017 | DUI

DUI defense lawyers are a necessity if you face legal charges stemming from a DUI.

Because DUI charges are common, there are many DUI defense lawyers available. But when exactly do you need to hire one? You know you’ll probably need one after the police arrest you, but how soon? And when is it too late to hire one? Let’s talk about the timing when you hire a DUI defense lawyer.

The Ideal Time Is as Soon as Possible

As soon as you get arrested for a DUI, you should hire an attorney. This isn’t always realistic, however. The moment after the arrest, you’re probably in the back of a police vehicle on your way to jail. And once there, your first phone call will likely be to a family member rather than an attorney. And you will probably need to search for a DUI attorney before you can hire one.

For the booking process, you can do without an attorney as long as you resist the urge to answer anything beyond the procedural questions you may encounter. But if you’re asked to make a statement or answer questions about what happened, you should wait until you have an attorney first. This is important because whatever you say can serve as evidence in your trial.

But you might be thinking that you’re an honest person, and you need to talk to the police so you can clear up a misunderstanding that led to your arrest, right? No. Even with these best of intentions, you should first talk to an attorney and explain the situation before giving an official statement to the police. What you think is the truth may not be.

Perhaps you’re mistaken, confused or suffering the effects of an injury or alcohol. Then when you later try to change your story, it’s going to hurt your credibility. A single, consistent story of what happened will always be stronger than multiple versions of the same story. And you might divulge certain details that mean nothing, but the police might have a way to twist that and later use it as evidence against you in court, even if it’s a flat-out lie. An attorney can help you identify what you can tell the police that will help and not hurt your case.

The ideal time to hire an attorney is before you do anything that can permanently hurt your case. So the sooner you hire an attorney, the better.

It’s Never Too Late to Hire a DUI Attorney

If for some reason you decide not to hire a DUI attorney until after you’re found guilty, you will still benefit from hiring a DUI defense attorney. The benefit you will receive by hiring an attorney so late in your case will be much smaller than if you hired an attorney sooner, but it can still be beneficial.

For example, even after a guilty verdict, you will have the right to appeal the decision. Having an attorney through the appeals process will be very helpful, starting with explaining how soon you need to file the appeal and going through the process of filing one. Most importantly, your attorney would help you present the polished legal arguments to aid in your appeal.

Ready to learn more about DUI defense lawyers and how they may help your situation? Get in touch with our legal team at Wilbanks Law Firm, P.C. online now.