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7 Reasons Why DUI Defendants Should Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer
About one in three traffic deaths in the U.S. involve an intoxicated driver. In Massachusetts alone, nearly 1,400 people died in driving under the influence (DUI) – related crashes between 2003 and 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The disturbing statistic does not make it easier for drivers falsely accused of driving under the influence to prove their innocence. If you are facing DUI charges, going to court without a Massachusetts DUI defense lawyer would be ill-advised.
Do You Need a Massachusetts DUI Defense Lawyer?
Although hiring a criminal defense lawyer in a DUI case is optional in Massachusetts, think about it this way. Would you perform surgery on yourself, risking your life? Or would you hire a professional surgeon who knows how to handle a variety of medical instruments and tools to operate on you, avoiding potential complications in the process?
You, as a DUI defendant, do not want to risk your freedom or ruin your career and reputation by attempting to handle your DUI case without legal representation.
There are many reasons why you need a Massachusetts DUI defense attorney to represent you in a court of law:
- Get your DUI charge reduced or dismissed;
- Save your driver’s license from the suspension;
- Reduce or eliminate fines and penalties;
- Preserve your driving privileges;
- Contest field sobriety tests if they were conducted improperly;
- Collect strong evidence and present evidence in court in a compelling manner;
- Get access to expert witnesses;
- Refute evidence against you; and
- Prepare your DUI case for a trial.
When Should You Hire a DUI Defense Attorney?
In Massachusetts, a motorist is considered “under the influence” if their ability to drive safely has been diminished by the consumption of alcohol, marijuana, narcotics, drugs, or another intoxicating substance.
Police officers conduct field sobriety tests such as breath test or blood test to determine whether a driver’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) exceeds the legal limit. In Massachusetts, the BAC limit measures at 0.08 or above.
The blood-alcohol content determines guilt, which means you can be found guilty of driving under the influence even if you were not slurring your words, falling over while standing up, didn’t smell of alcohol or exhibit other signs of alcohol intoxication, so long as your BAC measures at 0.08 or above.
Thus, a driver’s BAC level alone is all the evidence needed to face DUI charges. It is critical to know your BAC level at the time of the arrest. If the law enforcement officer did not perform a breathalyzer or blood test but arrested you for DUI, a Massachusetts DUI defense lawyer can help you argue that you cannot be convicted due to the missing evidence.
Even if the police officers did conduct field sobriety tests at the time of the arrest, your criminal defense attorney could help you suppress the test results because it is not uncommon for the police to conduct the tests improperly.
Top Reasons Why You Need a DUI Attorney
We have listed seven reasons why you, as a DUI defendant, could benefit from hiring a criminal defense attorney.
1. You Could Challenge the Field Sobriety Test
An experienced DUI lawyer in Massachusetts could suppress the results of a field sobriety test if a police officer conducted a breathalyzer or blood test improperly (i.e., the officer was not trained on current NHTSA manual or failed to perform the analysis in compliance with federal and state requirements).
A criminal defense attorney here at The Law Offices of Richard Mucci is well-versed in field sobriety tests and can determine whether the test was administered correctly and whether the results of the breathalyzer or blood test can be excluded from evidence.
2. You Don’t Have Necessary Trial Experience
Although only a small percentage of DUI cases go to trial, you need to be prepared in case it does. Appearing in court without a DUI lawyer sends a wrong message to the judge and makes you look underprepared to defend yourself.
It’s definitely a good thing that you can use Google, but no amount of research on your own can substitute a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney when presenting your DUI case at trial.
3. You Can Refute the Evidence Against You
When the prosecutor presents evidence against the defendant, the person who’s being accused will most likely not know when and how to contest the validity of the evidence. A DUI attorney representing you can identify flaws, inconsistencies, and incorrect information presented in the evidence against you to help reduce or dismiss DUI charges.
4. You Can Gather and Present Compelling Evidence
The type of evidence that you can present in your DUI case, as well as the manner in which you present the evidence as a person with no specialized knowledge in the subject of criminal defense is typically weaker and less convincing than if you had a criminal defense lawyer collecting and presenting the evidence on your behalf.
5. You Get Access to Expert Witnesses
If your DUI case ever goes to trial, there will most likely be expert witnesses who can help you eliminate or reduce jail time, penalties, and fines associated with your conviction. However, as a layperson, you most likely do not know who these expert witnesses are and where to find them.
6. You Can Negotiate a Reduction in Fines and Jail Time
A Massachusetts DUI defense lawyer here at The Law Offices of Richard Mucci is a detail-oriented negotiator who has the expertise and skills to negotiate a reduction in fines, penalties, and jail time. A skilled DUI attorney knows how to present convincing arguments for negotiations.
7. You Can Be Prepared for Any Scenario
Being represented by a lawyer gives you the comfort of being prepared for whatever happens in your DUI case. Your attorney will use his or her skills and expertise to defend you against charges at every step of your case.
There are many benefits of hiring a DUI attorney. Reach out to The Law Offices of Richard Mucci to evaluate your case and start collecting the evidence necessary for defending you against driving under the influence charges. Get a free evaluation of your DUI case by calling at 781-729-3999 or fill out this contact form.