How Can a DUI Lawyer Help?
According to albertacriminaldefencelawyers.ca, hiring a DUI lawyer is one of the most important decisions you can make for your case. You need a lawyer who has experience and specializes in DUI cases. If your case goes into the criminal courts, your lawyer will prove invaluable in helping you maintain your freedoms.
How a DUI Lawyer Helps
Your lawyer can immediately help you from the very beginnings of your case. They assist you in answering law enforcement officers' questions when you are held at the police station. They collect evidence for use in your defence, whether on their own or through the help of investigators. Your attorney also works hard to refute the evidence presented by the prosecutor at trial, such as field sobriety or breathalyzer tests. With their help, you can negotiate and accept a plea bargain for reduced penalties.
If you are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Canada, you risk having a lifelong criminal record. It does not matter whether it is your first and only DUI conviction or you have multiple. These charges change your life, bringing harsh consequences. Having a good lawyer helps you avoid the worst penalties and possibly even helps you achieve a "not guilty" verdict.
DUI consequences can include:
- Jail time
- High fines and fees
- Driver's licence suspension
- Losing your job or being denied jobs
- Losing certain professional licences
- Negatively impacting your immigration status
- Possibly denying you travel into other countries
Summary Offences vs. Indictment Offenses
Clearly, a DUI conviction is a loss of multiple freedoms. Whether for good or bad, most Canadian DUI cases are summary conviction offences. This means they go through the court system quickly and simply. You do not have time to waste in deciding if a lawyer will help. Instead, you need to find the right fit and start working with them to build your defence.
If your DUI case proceeds to an indictment, you face more serious penalties. This type of matter may go to trial, if such is deemed warranted through the preliminary hearing deciding there is a prima facie case. Whether your conviction is summary or indictment-based, it is a criminal matter.
Maximum penalties for a summary conviction for DUI include:
- Six months imprisonment
- $5,000 fine
First offence penalties offer a mandatory minimum of $1,000 in fines. A second offence can land you in jail for a minimum of 30 days. Since your judge and jury determine your verdict and sentencing, you need a DUI lawyer you can trust. For the best results, this lawyer must have an excellent courtroom record and experience in DUI cases. They must also seem supportive and invested in your case outcome.
Assistance with Subsequent Charges
If you face your second, third or fourth DUI charges, even more is at risk in court. If your impaired driving caused an accident, injuries, fatalities or property damage, there is no doubt you need a skilled lawyer's help.
Besides defending you in the courtroom, your lawyer provides support leading up to your hearings or trial. They answer your questions, explain legal issues and work to refute the evidence. They hire and manage others needed to perform specialized tasks to build your case, such as private investigators or expert witnesses.
When aggravating factors or stiffer penalties are involved as part of your DUI case, these issues affect your sentencing. Hurting others makes your charges more severe, especially if someone else suffers great harm or death because of your actions. These cases almost always require the help of a good criminal defence lawyer specializing in DUI cases.
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