If you are facing criminal charges for a DUI in Knoxville, the last thing you should do is represent yourself. You may feel tempted to forgo hiring an attorney so you can save money. But the costs relating to the consequences you face are often more expensive. Being charged with a DUI means you may have to pay fines and restitutions costs or even serve jail time. You may also lose your driving privileges and have to deal with the long-lasting consequences that often come from having a DUI arrests and conviction. You should take some time to learn how a criminal defense attorney can help your case.
Minimize the consequences
In many cases, law enforcement officials charge offenders with the most severe charges possible. You could end up facing much stiffer penalties, such as a longer jail or prison sentence, more restitution and a harsher conviction. A private attorney can review your case and negotiate on your behalf for lesser charges and fewer penalties. If this is your first time facing charges, this can help you to get a lighter sentence and protect your record.
Protect your rights
Defense attorneys have specialized experience in handling your type of legal situation. They can provide you with a realistic view of the consequences you face and how they affect your rights. If you were to use a public defender or to forego legal representation altogether, you could end up not understanding your circumstances and rights. If you do not know your rights, you will not know if they are being violated.
Gain more control over the outcome
The criminal justice system is very complex. You may not have a good understanding of the laws, your rights and prosecution tactics, and how all of these can affect your situation. You may not have access to the resources you need to successfully defend yourself in court. Going to trial without legal counsel can increase the chances of the situation escalating beyond your control.
Attorneys are familiar with the legal system. They can keep you from overlooking important steps that could affect the outcome of your case. You may not know much about the terminology or requirements that are necessary to subpoena the evidence, analyze it and use it to defend yourself. Attorneys do and can present your case so that a better outcome is possible.
The steps you take when you have criminal charges pending can severely impact your future. You should avoid making rash decisions without understanding the full ramifications of your actions. If you are facing criminal charges, you should speak to an attorney about your situation to receive guidance on the matter.