Many people assume that if they have been charged with driving under the influence, the only reason they should hire a Kansas City DUI attorney is if they want to get the case dismissed. This is absolutely wrong; pleading guilty without consulting with a lawyer is a mistake, for several reasons.
Even though you realize you “messed up,” legally you are innocent until proven guilty. The charges against you must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, which isn’t always easy. Police often make mistakes when arresting an individual for driving under the influence – and those mistakes may be used to your advantage. An officer may pull you over without reasonable suspicion, which is against the law. Breath and blood tests to determine whether you were intoxicated and to measure your blood alcohol content are not always performed correctly, handled properly, or the results may be skewed. This is just one example of why you should consult with a talented DUI lawyer in Kansas City before pleading guilty.
Another reason you should never plead guilty without first consulting an attorney is sentencing. If you plead guilty, you will be convicted and subsequently sentenced. A judge has discretion when handing out your sentence, and can choose to go with a lighter sentence, or the harshest penalties that are legal for the offense you are accused of. He or she will often consider any aggravating or mitigating factors, which are generally learned from your attorney and that state’s. Without legal counsel on your side, you may very well say something that while you believe will help your situation, will actually make it worse.
Even when you are guilty of DUI, it’s often far more desirable to have the judge determine that you should get an opportunity to rehabilitate rather than be put behind bars. A conviction for a DUI can mean not only jail time, but fines, loss of your driving privileges, a criminal record, and increased insurance rates. If it is your second, third, or even fourth offense, penalties will be far more severe. It is important that regardless of your innocence or guilt, you obtain the skill and experience of a reputable Kansas City DUI lawyer.
The old adage “you do the crime, you serve the time” simply is not true. In our country, even those charged with the most heinous of crimes have a right to legal representation, and an opportunity to protect their legal rights. If you have been charged with DUI and are guilty, don’t make any moves you will regret later. Consult with an experienced Kansas City DUI attorney who will work to keep you out of jail, and protect your from what could be serious consequences.