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The Self-Representation Conundrum Following Your First DUI

Jeff Cole
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Partner at Zimmer, Duncan & Cole

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2/8/2015
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You’re a model citizen. You have never gotten so much as a parking ticket, and you regularly volunteer with local organizations. You are the one your friends rely on for safe transportation, and you always have a spare place for your friends to stay after a night out.

One day, however, you have a slip of judgment and get behind the wheel after having a bit too much to drink. You are pulled over, and blow just over the legal limit of 0.08 percent BAC. While you are unlikely to be treated like a repeat felon in court, you have a lot at stake.

Some criminal justice experts say that for crimes that are less serious, such as a first DUI, first-time offenders may not need to employ a criminal defense attorney. The logic behind this argument is that the courts may “go easy” on a first time offender, and a plea bargain may be offered.

Why We Think Self-Representation After a DUI May Be the Wrong Choice

While first time offenders may not face the full wrath of the court, they also have a lot to lose. For career criminals, a fine and a criminal record may not have much of an impact on their future. People with clean records very likely want them to stay as clean as possible, and placing your future on a “may” is a risky decision.

DUI offenses, even for first time offenders, are serious business. Think about the impact that losing your license for even a few months could have on your career and social life. Think about your career goals and if a criminal record gels with your ambitions. For many, taking the extra time and money to hire an experienced attorney is well worth it.

An attorney can help make sure that your case was handled according to strict legal protocol, and can make sure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. While you may be unable to escape consequences altogether, an attorney can help guarantee that you receive the best possible outcome.

Your Best Option Is to Consult With a Criminal Defense Attorney as Soon as Possible After Your Arrest

An attorney will be able to tell you what to expect in your case, and what your best option will be in your situation. At Zimmer, Duncan & Cole LLP, our criminal defense attorneys are well-versed in DUI cases, and can help point you in the right direction. To discuss your case with us today, simply start a live chat or call our Sioux Falls office today!



Category: Criminal Defense

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