Do I Need a DUI Lawyer if I was Barely Over the Legal BAC Limit?

Driving under the influence of alcohol may be one of the more common criminal allegations, but there is nothing to take lightly about the charge. Whether prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, DUIs have the potential to create significant and life-altering penalties, including large fines, license suspensions, possible terms of imprisonment, and a host of other collateral consequences. With so much at stake, anyone charged with DUI should be intent on working immediately with a proven defense attorney.

Although working with a DUI attorney is in your best interests, our legal team at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP is well aware that many individuals charged with this crime have concerns and reservations about enlisting the help of a lawyer. Some may feel that a public defender can do the job, while others feel that it is not worth it to fight the charge. The fact of the matter is that a private defense attorney like those at our firm are committed to your defense, and to protecting your rights and future at every stage of the criminal process.

In California, the legal limit for DUI is .08 BAC, but you can still be arrested and charged regardless of your BAC if a law enforcement officer believes you are too impaired to drive. Regardless of what your BAC was, you need to know why working with a lawyer is important:

  • You can fight for a positive resolution – You have the right to work with legal representation who can help you pursue the most positive resolution possible. Depending on the nature of your case, this may take the form of dismissed charges, reduced charges, or reduced penalties. A DUI lawyer can also fight on your behalf to defend your driving privileges in administrative hearings with the DMV. If you choose to plead guilty, you don’t give yourself the opportunity to secure a better resolution.
  • You can challenge the prosecution’s case – You have the right to challenge the government’s case against you. From challenging the initial arrest (including probable cause) and evidence (including chemical tests and your BAC results) to challenging law enforcement protocol at all stages of your case, you have opportunities to break down their case. In DUI cases involving BACs at or slightly above the legal limit, working diligently with an attorney to create an effective defense can help you pursue a positive outcome.
  • Public defenders lack time and resources – If you choose not to work with a DUI lawyer, you must remember that you will be represented by a public defender. Public defenders are notoriously overworked, underfunded, and often inexperienced newer attorneys. If you think that they can quickly or easily beat a DUI case, you are placing your trust in a system that has been proven to consistently underperform for the accused.

DUI charges of any type are serious allegations that put your rights and future on the line, but they can be effectively handled with the help of proven defense attorneys. If you would like to learn how our firm can help you fight the charges you face, contact us for a free consultation.