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Driving Under the Influence: 3 Legal Guidelines to Navigate DUI Charges

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Being charged with a DUI is one of the worst nightmares for any driver and penalties can be harsh and ranging depending on different circumstances.

When people get caught driving under the influence, some assume that there is no need to hire an attorney due to factors such as evidence perceived to work in their favour and the desire to save on costs.

However, the truth is such cases involve a lot of intricacies and an attorney can be of great help sorting the issues out. A layperson who does not have experience in law might not be aware of any applicable defenses if any exist and as a result could receive the most serious sentence possible under the law.

The following are 3 reasons on why hiring an accident lawyer is a crucial step when dealing with a DUI offence.

1. Complexity of the law

The criminal court process is enough to overwhelm those with experience in it so someone who is a first-time offender will definitely need assistance. Attorneys endure years of education and practice to learn and understand the law and its application. It is not only the law that is complicated in such a case, there is also a lot of technicalities such as evidence given by investigators or toxicologists who might be involved.

There are also regular amendments on laws that may impact the outcome of your case and attorneys are up to speed on these. For the average person all of this information might be a bit much to process and it is therefore important for a person charged with DUI to hire an attorney.

2. Experience & knowledge

The experience and knowledge that an attorney provides is extremely valuable and in some cases attorneys have used this to successfully defend DUI cases. In the event that you plead guilty, an attorney can help in negotiating with the Crown Attorney to ensure a plea deal is reached that you are satisfied with. If you take the matter to trial, an attorney has experience in the courtroom and can represent you effectively.

Accident lawyers often have the access to a large network of professionals in other fields who can chip in and help build a solid defense. They also have knowledge regarding court procedures and other related judicial matters, assisting with issues such as how to file court papers and how to address a judge, jury, or witness. With DUI charges leading to possible sentences that include fines, losses of driving privileges, jail time, not to mention a criminal record, one should not leave anything to chance.

3. Severity of charges

In Canada, the laws pertaining to DUIs can be serious and life-changing if someone is found guilty. For example, in Ontario, if you are charged with a DUI while you were driving at a speed of more than 80 miles per hour, it is termed as a criminal offense and therefore penalties become dramatically more severe. These include fines, losses of a driver’s license, and even jail time and a finding of guilt will definitely lead to significant increases in insurance rates.

Due to what is at stake, an attorney’s assistance should be considered because if you want to protest the charge, they can look at the evidence and use it in their favour to make arguments as to why the charge should be dropped or reduced to something less. If you want to make a plea deal, the attorney can also help with one that will reduce the penalty you face.

Considering the serious penalties that someone charged with a DUI faces, removing or reducing even one charge can have a significant impact on the outcome of the case.

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