If you are pulled over for driving while intoxicated (DWI), it can be difficult to know what to do. You may not know how to handle the pull-over, how to address the charges in court, or what the law says about DWI. Luckily, you have the right to an attorney in any DWI case in New Jersey. This means you can hire an attorney to help fight your case on your behalf. While you can fight a DWI without a lawyer, having an attorney on your side gives you serious benefits. Below are five of the best reasons that you should hire a lawyer for any DWI charges.
For a free consultation on your New Jersey DWI charges, call the Atlantic City DWI defense lawyers at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych today.
Why to Hire a Lawyer for DWI
If you were charged with a DWI in New Jersey, you can face serious penalties. Having a lawyer at your side can help you challenge evidence and beat your case. The following five considerations should help you decide whether you want to hire a DWI defense attorney to fight your charges:
1. Experience Handling Cases
Lawyers handle legal cases in and out of the court room every day. New Jersey criminal defense lawyers are required to graduate from a law school, pass the New Jersey State Bar Exam, and continue fulfilling yearly legal education requirements. On top of this, lawyers like John Zarych have over 30 years of experience appearing before judges and arguing legal cases. Most non-attorneys do not have the experience of ever setting foot in a courtroom, unless they have already been charged with other crimes. In any case, relying upon the training and experience of a DWI defense lawyer is an invaluable asset in any DWI case.
2. Challenging Evidence Against You
Non-lawyers have as much access to statutes, Supreme Court cases, and New Jersey court cases that create evidentiary rules, but they may not understand the nuanced rules of evidence and criminal procedure. Under federal and New Jersey law, the process of “suppression” may help block police and prosecutors from using evidence against you. Criminal defense attorneys understand the ins and outs of collecting evidence and presenting it in court. This means they can determine when evidence was illegally seized and may be suppressed, protecting you from its effects in court. If the police do not have access to evidence of your DWI, it may completely shut down the case against you.
3. Without a Lawyer, You Are the Lawyer
If you do not go into your case with an attorney, you will be expected to follow the same standards as an attorney. As stated above, lawyers in New Jersey have legal training and experience. Many prosecutors work on the same sorts of cases every day, to the point where they perfect their strategy and the presentation of their case. If you represent yourself, you will be expected to fight your case against these experienced prosecutors. In addition, you will be held to the same rules of criminal procedure, court procedure, and evidentiary rules, even if you do not have a law degree. For most non-lawyers, this may be like fighting a battle with one hand tied behind your back. Don’t handicap yourself; hire an attorney for your DWI case.
4. There’s a Lot on the Line
If you are convicted for a DWI, you have a lot to lose. First, every DWI offense in New Jersey carries required court costs and surcharges totaling at least $325. Second, any DWI conviction comes with expensive fines. Even the lowest level of a first-time DWI offense has fines of $250 to $400. Repeat DWI offenses in New Jersey carry fines up to $1,000. On top of this, you can have your freedom seriously limited. Every DWI conviction comes with a drivers’ license suspension. This limits your freedom to move about, go to work, transport your children, etc. This may have a serious cost if you need to find alternative transportation. Lastly, any DWI conviction, even a first-time, low-BAC (blood alcohol concentration) DWIs can mean jail time. Courts are authorized to sentence DWI offenders to up to 30 days in jail, even for a first-time case. Don’t risk these high penalties without a lawyer.
South Jersey Drunk Driving Lawyers
If you or a loved one was charged with driving while intoxicated in Atlantic City or anywhere in South Jersey, call our South Jersey criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych today. While you may be able to handle your DWI case without an attorney, you open yourself to dozens of weaknesses. Though there are no guarantees, hiring an attorney may help you put up the strongest defense against the charges and help you to walk away without a conviction. For a free consultation on your case, call (609) 616-4956 today.