Most people have some preconceived notions about DUI charges based on what they’ve seen on TV and the experiences of friends or family members who have gone through such ordeals. However, many of these notions are totally incorrect. Here are three of the most common DUI myths and the realities behind them:
Myth #1: Most people accused of this crime are guilty, so these cases can’t be won.
Peter M. Liss has personally and successfully defended hundreds of DUI cases, so he knows that while many people believe this, it is totally untrue. While police and prosecutors tend to point to failed roadside sobriety tests and failed chemical tests as ultimate proof that a person was drinking under the influence, a good DUI attorney knows that sobriety tests are subjective and chemical tests are not foolproof.
Even if you are guilty, a lawyer may be able to have your charges reduced to a wet reckless rather than a DUI, minimizing the penalties you will face.
Myth #2: A DUI isn’t a big deal.
There was a time, long ago, that a DUI conviction would mean little more than a fine, but those days are gone. These days, a first-time DUI will result in fines of up to $1,000, plus a penalty assessment of up to 180% of the fine, mandatory enrollment in an alcohol or drug program and up to six months in jail -although lengthy jail sentences are uncommon for first-time offenses. Additionally, your vehicle may be impounded for up to six months, you may have to install an ignition interlock device in your car and you may have your license suspended for up to four months.
These sentences need to be taken seriously and anyone facing a DUI needs to contact a top drunk driving lawyer as soon as possible.
Myth #3: Any attorney can defend drunk driving cases.
While everyone knows that you need a specialized lawyer to handle your divorce or to set up a will, many people have the impression that because DUIs are criminal cases, any lawyer near the courthouse or jail can fight the charges.
The reality is that if an attorney is not experienced in fighting these specialized charges, he or she could hurt your case more than help it -by missing the ten day window for fighting your license suspension, for example. When you contact a lawyer about a DUI charge, be sure to ask not about his or her general experience, but about his or her experience specifically in drunk driving cases.
If you have been charged with drunk driving, call a DUI lawyer with a proven track record of helping clients successfully fight these charges. Peter M. Liss has helped hundreds of people just like you. To schedule a free initial consultation or to ask questions about other DUI myths, please call (760) 643-4050.
Creative Commons Image by Renee Silverman