When It Comes To an Arrest for Drunk Driving, the Cheapest Lawyer Isn't Always Your Best Choice!

So you’ve just been arrested and charged with drunk driving (DUI) in New Jersey. This charge may also involve some other charges, possibly reckless or careless driving, speeding, or failure to maintain lane. Your court date is coming up soon and you need to know what to do next.

With a drunk driving charge, you could be facing (depending whether it is a first, second, third, or more offense) serious consequences, including:

  • Suspension of your license for 3-12 months, 2 years or 10 years
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Thousands of dollars in insurance surcharges
  • Fines from $250 to $1,000

Penalties from the Judge Are Not the Only Consequences! Yes, Things Still Get Worse!

But that’s not all! Because New Jersey doesn’t allow you limited driving privileges to get to work, you could lose your job if you can’t use a carpool or public transportation! You can definitely lose it if you end up spending 6 months in jail!

It gets even worse!

You think you pay a lot for car insurance in the Garden State? Wait until your carrier finds out about your DUI conviction! Your rates will most likely skyrocket!

In light of all that can happen to you, it makes sense to get a lawyer (and probably an experienced one) . Why? An experienced attorney can navigate the complexities of the system and the serious charges on your behalf. But, you are thinking, lawyers are expensive! I should shop around to get the best price. However, lawyers experienced and knowledgeable about DUI and related charges tend to be more expensive. . . 

This is not the time to get a bargain lawyer! You don't want to regret it later!

Don’t Get a Dump Truck Lawyer!

A colleague of mine who handles DUIs in Virginia has a name for lawyers who just take your money and don’t fight diligently on your behalf: Dump Truck Lawyers! Trust me, you don’t want one of these for your case!

A thorough and aggressive DUI lawyer will:

  • Pick apart the police incident report to see if the officer had probable cause to pull you over
  • Determine if the officer was properly trained to conduct a field sobriety test
  • Comb carefully through all the paperwork on the breathalyzer reading to see if it can be thrown out of court!
  • He or she will look to see if:
    • The operator of the machine was properly trained
    • The machine has been properly serviced and maintained
    • All proper procedures have been followed, including observing you for 20 minutes and taking away your cell phone
  • Watch carefully hours of video from the patrol car and the officer(s)’ body cameras to see if
    • What is written in the police incident report is actually what happened
    • The Standard Field Sobriety Test was conducted properly
    • You did indeed fail the sobriety test, as claimed, thus giving the police probable cause to arrest you

Naturally, all of this takes time, which a bargain basement attorney may not spend on your case because they are not charging you enough to make doing so worthwhile!

Let me put it to you simply: If you are quoted a flat fee of less than $1,200, then you are probably getting a lawyer that isn't getting paid to do all of the important things above or doesn't know to do them!

Even if they say they will do everything I have listed here, be skeptical. This is their time, and they have to pay the bills! How much do you think they will be tempted to cut corners in order to save time?

Paying for an Expensive Lawyer is Most Often Money Well Spent

Naturally, there is no guarantee that a good, thorough, and expensive lawyer will succeed in getting your DUI dismissed or downgraded; every case is different. But isn’t it worth the investment to insure the highest likelihood that you will:

  • Not go to jail
  • Not lose your license and your job
  • Not make your car insurance unaffordable
  • Not lose what savings you have to pay the fines, costs, and surcharges
Imagine for yourself what your life would be like if your lawyer is successful. You would be able to:
  • Provide comfortably for yourself and your family from the income of the job you keep
  • Avoid the embarrassment of a DUI conviction
  • Be more financially secure with the money you didn’t lose to fines, costs, and surcharges

I May Be Able to Help

I don't take every case that comes to me. But if your DUI charge was brought in Gloucester, Camden, Burlington, Salem, or Cumberland County, you know you need to hire a lawyer for your case, and you want to make an investment in the level of representation that you need, then call my office immediately at 856-432-4113 or fill out my contact form to schedule an appointment to discuss your case! You will thank yourself later!

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.