If you were arrested for driving under the influence in Orange County, you may be surprised to find out that the DA can take their time filing charges against you. In the meantime, it can be nerve-wracking as you wait for an ominous letter to arrive in the mail, informing you that you are “officially” charged with a crime.
Let’s say that you were arrested for DUI last year, and the case has been pending for months now. The DA finally decided to file charges (they have 1 year for a misdemeanor DUI) and now you have a court date coming up.
The DUI has been hanging over your head for almost a year, and you’ve been losing sleep at night. You’re thinking you should just plead guilty so you can put the DUI behind you. But, is this really the best route to take?
Pleading Guilty is Not a Good Idea
No, we do not recommend that you plead guilty! If you’re like a lot of people, you may think that just because you blew over .08% (the legal limit), you’re surely guilty of DUI, but that’s not necessarily the case.
Sometimes the DUI suspect was a victim of police misconduct. Sometimes the police had no probable cause to pull the driver over. Sometimes the calibration was incorrect, or the driver has a rising BAC defense. In other words, why would you plead guilty and acquire a permanent criminal record if you don’t have to?
In the face of criminal charges, including DUI, you need an experienced attorney advising you. It would be unwise to plead guilty to a misdemeanor that would haunt you for the rest of your life, affecting everything from auto insurance to child custody, to college applications, professional licenses, and employment.
You don’t want to hire just any criminal defense attorney; you want an experienced DUI defense lawyer. Often, a DUI attorney will know about DUI defenses that a non-DUI attorney simply would not be aware of due to lack of experience defending DUIs.
Need a DUI defense lawyer? Contact our office to work with one of Orange County’s top DUI defense firms. Call now for a free consultation!