Yes. Obviously, it is a serious crime in the sense that it carries consequences like preventing the person from driving, causing issues with car insurance, and it might also carry jail time. It is not just a speeding ticket, so it would need to be taken seriously which is what attorneys are for, and it would be best to have one who practices DUI defense because they will be best equipped to fight it. A lot of severe consequences can be avoided if the situation is taken seriously, whereas if someone did not take it seriously and just pleaded guilty, they could face some very harsh consequences.
Should Someone Maintain Regular Contact With Their Attorney?
Yes; someone who hired an attorney should obviously stay in contact with them, and they should make sure they inform the attorney if they will be going out of town. There are sometimes ways for attorneys to work with court schedules to schedule things in a way that best accommodate their client’s work schedule or other scheduling issues that would prevent them from attending a hearing on a certain date. The client should make sure the attorney has their phone numbers, addresses and other contact info so they can reach them to let them know about any news or information, or to ask questions about the case.
I want to be able to contact my client whenever needed and I also want them to be able to call and talk to me if they had questions. For the most part, clients are really good about that because they know they are paying for the lawyer’s service and they want to get the full benefit of that service. It would be strange for someone to hire an attorney and then not be able to talk with them. It makes an attorney’s job harder when this does happen, so the person would want to be available and have everything organized, which would be the best and strongest way to approach the case.
How Often Should Someone Be In Contact With An Attorney?
This would vary on a case to case basis, although the attorney should be contacted anytime anything changed with the case or with information relating to the case. The client should probably be in contact with their attorney a few days before any kind of court proceeding. The attorney should contact the client or the client should contact the attorney to talk about what might happen at a pretrial conference, what they should do and if they need to bring anything. The same would go for hearings that came after that or before a trial, so the client should at least contact them before each proceeding to make sure they are on the same page.
Should Someone Consider Taking Out A Loan Or Borrowing Money To Hire An Attorney?
Yes, but every attorney is different. Some of them offer payment plans whereas others do not. I have done payment plans, which have always worked out well for me with my clients, but hiring an attorney is an investment as much as it is protection. It is likely that the attorney would be able to get the person lower fines and lesser expenses for things like treatment, interlock device or car insurance. It would be a good idea to hire the attorney so he could help out with things, but it would require some money, so taking out a loan or borrowing money is something that may have to be considered.
Should Someone Consider An Attorney If It Is Not Their First DUI?
Yes. It would be a very bad decision not to get an attorney for the second or third DUI, because the consequences are so much worse for each successive DUI charge. In Utah, the third DUI would actually be a felony, which carries all kinds of serious problems. The consequences for even a first DUI are very severe and extend far beyond just that incident and paying that fine. It affects the person being able to drive for a long time, it affects insurance, and it would affect future charges, so this is something someone would need an attorney to handle properly. There are plenty of attorneys who devote their entire practices to DUI defense, and it is really worthwhile to have an attorney who knows what they are doing and is able to get the best possible outcome for what is a pretty severe crime with some pretty severe consequences.
Should Someone Disclose Information That Might Affect The Cases Like Past DUIs Or Records?
Yes. It is important for the attorney to know every side of the story, so even when doing a consultation with an attorney who has not been hired yet, it is important to be totally honest, particularly about how much the person had to drink and any damage or any accident that may have happened. They would need to know if there were good or bad witnesses, because the idea behind someone spending money to have an attorney would be either to beat the charges, get them dismissed, or get some other sort of a favorable outcome. The only way to do that is to combat the facts the prosecutor brings up, which the attorney can only do by knowing all sides of the story.
People tend to feel embarrassed when they are asked how much they drank, so they usually say they just had a couple of beers, although some of them might also be in denial about how impaired they really were. It is important to take an honest look and be as accurate and as detailed as possible. It would be very helpful if someone who was at a bar had receipts showing what drinks they had had, or if there were other people there who could talk about how much the person did or did not have to drink. They would need to be as detailed as possible and share every tiny detail with their attorney because he would be preparing the defense, so would need to know everything that might come out later.
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