Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is one of the worst crimes for which the authorities may charge a person. The consequences for such a crime are stiff, because of the statistics that show a large amount of deaths and injuries occurring in the United States. When a person chooses to operate a vehicle under the influence, that person is endangering the lives of innocent drivers and passengers, as well as himself or herself. Therefore, a guilty charge will bring forth several consequences. Also, it’s advisable for a person living in the Phoenix area to consult with a Phoenix DUI attorney as quickly as possible after a charge. The reason is because of the wide range of losses the person may suffer. A person found guilty of DUI in Phoenix can lose license privileges, time and much more money than he or she would lose by hiring an attorney.
What is DUI?
DUI is an acronym for driving under the influence. The term usually refers to alcohol. However, some authoritative figures use the term to describe a person who is under the influence of some kind of illegal drug. In terms of alcohol consumption, a police officer may charge someone with DUI if that person has a blood alcohol level of over .08 percent. The offensive blood alcohol level is .04 for drivers with commercial licenses. There is no tolerance for a person who is under the age of 21, so any alcohol in the blood is unacceptable for the driver.
The police officer will determine this level by requesting that the individual perform a Breathalyzer test. Any driver who refuses to take the test will receive an immediate license suspension of no less than one year for a first offense. Once the police officer receives a reading that is over the allowable limits set forth by Arizona legislation, this person will issue a citation to the receiver. The receiver may choose to hire a Phoenix DUI attorney, or attempt to fight the charge of DUI alone.
Cost of Fighting a DUI Alone
A person who is fighting a DUI charge alone will not have the benefits that an experienced attorney can bring. Several defenses exist that an attorney can present to a judge. This person might be able to have the entire case dismissed due to an error on the accusing party’s part. Furthermore, an attorney will have associations with certain members of the law. He or she may be able to barter in the defendant’s behalf should that person receive a guilty charge.
An individual who selects to fight the process alone to save money may end up with more expenses than he or she bargained for. For a first time DUI offense, a guilty party will receive a minimum jail time of 24 hours. The judge may sentence the individual up to 10 days in jail, which will make the guilty party unavailable to spend time at work or at home. Just one week in jail can cost a person $500 or more in lost wages. Additionally, the individual may lose his or her job, which is an automatic loss of at least $20,000 in annual income.
A guilty party will also have to pay an original fine over $200, a separate DUI charge of $200, and a special probationary charge of $10. The courts will also asses a $500 fine that is related to prison assessments and an additional $500 for Arizona DUI extra assessments. The state may also suspend the person’s license for a period of 90 to 360 days, which would call for the person to spend money on public transportation and taxis to get back and forth to work and run errands. Additionally, when the individual finally restores his or her driving privileges, the automobile insurance policy rates will rise drastically.
Taking all of the previously mentioned information into consideration, a person who chooses to fight a DUI charge without an attorney may end up spending over $10,000, and that figure is not counting the costs associated with losing his or her job.
Saving Money by Hiring an Attorney
Attorneys operate by using either a flat rate system or an hourly rate. Even an attorney that charges a $1,000 retainer fee or $100 an hour would be much less expensive than fighting the judicial system without help. Costs will be minimal as opposed to losing a battle for lack of representation. As previously stated, an attorney can take a thorough assessment of the incident and try to develop a strategy for a dismissal. The objective is for the accused party to leave the court building with no blemishes on his or her record. If the attorney cannot achieve such, then at the very least this person will be able to reduce the costs for his or her client.
Choosing the Right Attorney
To find the right Phoenix DUI attorney, one must conduct research to find a reasonable and competent provider. The best course of action to take when choosing an attorney is to review the credentials, find out case histories and success numbers, and call to set up a consultation. Some attorneys offer free consultations, so the prospective client has nothing to lose. Other attorneys may offer a low price for a first consultation. The law firm’s integrity, availability, reputation and tenure should play a role in deciding which firm would be best to hire.
Since a Phoenix driver has so much to lose in receiving a guilty charge, it is best for that person and his or her family members to secure representation. Calling a law firm takes less than 30 seconds and a consultation takes less than one hour. A Phoenix driver can literally save his or her reputation and life by asking for help from the appropriate organization. No one should ever fight a DUI charge alone. If you are facing such a charge, you could benefit greatly by scheduling a meeting today.