Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can harm yourself and others. In fact, nearly 11,000 Americans are killed in alcohol-related accidents every year. Drunk driving is a significant threat to the nation’s roadways, and the penalties for driving under the influence are steep. 

Being convicted of a DUI and losing your driver’s license can affect your ability to work and your overall quality of life.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Dayton, OH, you may have options to reduce your legal penalties. Hiring a lawyer may make a huge difference in your case. 

Knowing when to hire a DUI lawyer and the steps to finding a good one is the best way to protect yourself.

1. Charges for a DUI Have Serious Consequences

A DUI charge in Dayton can result in jail time and fines, plus a suspended license. With the seriousness of even a first offense, you must act fast and understand your options. 

2. It Might Take Less Than You Think to Be Under the Influence

You’re considered “under the influence” if you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. This can be two or three drinks for men, while women may be considered under the influence after just one or two drinks.

3. A DUI Lawyer Might Be Able to Help Reduce Your Sentence

Fighting a DUI arrest and avoiding the maximum penalties is a tough legal battle. Your DUI lawyer is there to protect you. DUI first offenders in Florida are required to be placed on probation, but offenders may also receive community service, fines, and a license suspension of six months to one year.

Your DUI lawyer can help reduce the fines or community service hours. They may also be able to negotiate a “hardship license” on your behalf, which will allow you to drive to work or take your children to school.

4. You Need to Be Honest with Your Dayton DUI Lawyer

Many people arrested for a DUI in Dayton, OH, may feel embarrassed and uncomfortable talking to their lawyer about the circumstances. It’s tempting to withhold important information from your lawyer to make yourself look better. However, your attorney can’t properly defend you without knowing all of the facts of your DUI charge.

The more information your lawyer has to work with — good or bad — can make a difference in whether they can craft a solid defense on your behalf. Bear in mind lawyers have a duty to keep all conversations between themselves and their clients confidential.

5. It’s a Good Idea to Research Reputable Dayton DUI Attorneys

While time is of the essence when hiring a great DUI lawyer, you still need to do your homework. Be wary of opting for a public defender; they may not have the time or resources to devote to your DUI sentence. Instead, look for law firms with a successful track record of protecting DUI clients.

6. Check Out Third-Party Reviews

Law firms may have reviews online, so make sure to read ratings and testimony from former clients. The clients should have positive things to say about your attorney and the results they achieved. Facebook and Google My Business are great places to read client reviews.

You can also check out what other attorneys have to say about your potential criminal defense lawyer using rating services like Avvo.

Narrow down a shortlist of experienced, reputable DUI lawyers, and then schedule a consultation with each one.

7. Schedule Consultations with Your Top DUI Lawyer Picks

Many attorneys offer a free consultation for criminal defense cases, usually about 30 minutes. They’ll determine whether they’re able to provide a good defense for you. Arrange to talk to your top two or three lawyers in person or via video conferencing.

8. Make Sure You Bring the Right Information to Your Consultation

Before your consultation, you need to have your facts and documents together. This includes your arrest report and all relevant information from the arrest. 

You should also bring any background information about a criminal record with you. If you plan to ask for a hardship license, then having proof of why you need that accommodation is also necessary.

After the consultations, you can select a lawyer you trust.

To learn more, call our Dayton Criminal Defense law firm at (937) 531-0435 or visit our contact us page to send us an email.