Drunken driving offenses are known by a variety of names across the country. While the technical name for the offense in Minneapolis, MN is “driving while impaired,” many people refer to this charge as DUI.
If you are facing DUI charges, you should take them seriously. Whether this is your first arrest or you have been in this spot before, the consequences of your conviction could be significant. Any mark on your criminal record could make it difficult to secure a job, and that says nothing of the potential for jail time or fines.
The attorneys of Gerald Miller have a long history of advocating for those accused of driving while impaired. If you are in need of a DUI lawyer in Minneapolis, MN, reach out as soon as possible to schedule your free consultation.
Do I Have to Hire a DUI Lawyer in Minneapolis?
Under the law, you have no obligation to hire an attorney following a DUI arrest. The courts will allow you to act as your own attorney if you choose to do so. You might have this right, but that does not mean it is a good idea. Acting as your own attorney will only put you at a disadvantage when it comes to fighting for your rights.
According to the Minnesota Office of Public Safety, there is an average of 68 DWI arrests across the state each day. It should go without saying then that the prosecutors in Minneapolis have extensive experience pursuing convictions in these cases. They understand the law and have spent countless hours trying cases in front of local judges. With so much experience stacked against you, it is vital that you even the playing field.
Hiring a DUI lawyer is your best way to ensure you are treated fairly during the course of the drunken driving case. By hiring legal counsel, you could avoid the pitfalls that come with acting as your own attorney. This could increase your chances of a favorable outcome and potentially result in an acquittal on your DWI charge.
What if I Want to Plead Guilty?
There is no question that hiring an attorney is in your best interest if you intend to fight the charges against you. But what if your intention is to plead guilty? Do you need a DUI lawyer when you already plan on accepting responsibility for your actions and entering a plea in your case? The answer is an emphatic “yes.”
Even if you intend to accept a guilty plea in your criminal case, you could benefit greatly from the guidance of legal counsel. One of the most important roles your attorney can fill is advising you on the benefits and drawbacks of a specific plea offer.
Remember: it is possible to negotiate with the prosecutor. While the state might make it seem like you have an offer you must either take or reject, it could be possible to negotiate the finer details of your deal. These negotiations could keep you out of jail or even help you avoid a conviction entirely.
The attorneys of Gerald Miller understand what it takes to resolve DUI cases favorably. Often, the state will aggressively overplay the strength of its case. By carefully evaluating the evidence, we could make a compelling argument for a fair offer.
What can a DUI Lawyer Do For Me in Minneapolis?
There are numerous ways an attorney could benefit your defense in a DUI case. During every step of the process, their skill and experience could come in handy. What’s more, they could prevent you from making mistakes that could have derailed your case had you pursued your defense on your own. Some of the ways an attorney could help include:
Investigating Your Case
The first step your attorney will take after you hire them is thoroughly investigating your arrest. While no two DUI cases are exactly alike, many have similar fact patterns. Your attorney could evaluate the facts of our case and quickly identify issues that stand out. This investigation could provide you with the basis for a strong defense.
Developing a Defense Strategy
Once the investigation has been completed, the next step involves coming up with a defense theory. There are different ways to approach a drunk driving defense, and the facts of your case will largely determine which option is best for you. There are numerous options, from attacking the legality of the traffic stop to challenging the accuracy of your breath test results.
Moving to Exclude Evidence
In many cases, a motion to exclude evidence will be a central aspect of a defense strategy. Your attorney could make and argue this motion on your behalf.
Negotiating a Plea
Many DUI cases end with a negotiated plea bargain. Your attorney could work with the prosecutor to help you get the best possible deal.
Trying Your Case
There are a few situations where the guidance of an attorney is more valuable than at trial. Rules regarding evidence are complex, and your attorney could give you the best chance of making a strong showing in front of a jury.
How do I Find the Right DUI Lawyer?
If you are looking for a DUI lawyer, you have an array of information at your fingertips. Many attorneys advertise online, in print, or on television. By this point, most lawyers have websites with extensive information about their practice. All of these details are important, but it takes more to find the right lawyer for your DWI case. Some of the steps you should take to find the right attorney include:
Look for a DUI Lawyer
Not all lawyers bring the same skillset to the table. Some attorneys focus their practice on family law or mergers and acquisitions. While this legal work is important, their experience is unlikely to be helpful to you during the course of your DUI case.
Your best option is to find an attorney that focuses their practice on criminal defense. The law surrounding criminal prosecution is broad and constantly changing. What’s more, it could benefit you to find an attorney that spends much of their time practicing DUI law. When attorneys focus on these narrow areas of the law, they are more likely to provide you with important advantages as your case proceeds.
Make Use of a Free Consultation
Do you have questions for your prospective attorney? Many DUI lawyers offer free consultations where you can ask those questions. These options are invaluable, as it is rare to have the chance to discuss the finer points of your criminal case with a seasoned attorney.
During the course of your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your case. You could also ask about what your chances are of success and what you might expect if you are convicted. To make the most of your free consultation, it is a good idea to write down all of your questions ahead of time. This can prevent you from leaving the consultation without all of the answers you need.
Talk About Fees
You deserve to go into your case with the understanding of what your defense is going to cost. The details of what your attorney will charge is a good topic of discussion during the course of your initial consultation.
Some DUI lawyers charge legal fees by the hour. These hourly rates can vary based on the attorney’s experience. Most lawyers that operate on this type of fee structure require something known as a retainer. A retainer is a pool of money that the attorney pulls their fees from as they earn it.
Many attorneys that handle DWI cases in Minneapolis, MN do so for a fixed price. These attorneys will agree to handle your case from arrest through trial for a flat fee. Others might agree to a flat fee but require hourly billing if the case goes to trial. Discuss these billing matters upfront to avoid any confusion.
Reach Out to a DUI Lawyer As Soon As Possible in Minneapolis
You do not have to defend yourself on your own following a DUI arrest. Let the attorneys at Gerald Miller help you develop the strongest possible defense strategy. Call for a free consultation as soon as possible.