Representing Yourself Could be a Costly Mistake
The perils of speaking on your own behalf in court are well illustrated by the old saying that “a man who represents himself has a fool for a client.” Even skilled and experienced lawyers who find themselves accused of a crime will decline to represent themselves. They recognize the true value of having an advocate who is more familiar with the local court system defend their best interests.
The results of your court hearing are something that you will be forced to reflect upon for the rest of your life. Even the decision on whether to plead “guilty” or “no contest” can have far reaching consequences. This is especially true if there was an accident or injury associated with your case. Your criminal charge could very well expose you to “civil liability” and subsequent “personal injury litigation.” An experienced attorney criminal defense attorney can protect your best interests in this regard.
Appealing an undesired outcome or mistake caused by your inexperience or lack of specialized legal training can be an expensive and time consuming process. Likewise, the results of any appeal may be uncertain at best. For that reason, getting it right the first time is imperative.
The Cost of Retaining a Lawyer to Negotiate a Plea Bargain May be Less than You Think
The legal expenses associated with plea negotiations entail far less of an attorney’s time then, say, representation of a client at a full blown jury trial. For that reason, many clients find the cost of retaining a lawyer for this limited purpose to be quite affordable.
In Many Cases, We Can Minimize Your Court Appearances
- We may be able to handle your first court date without you and keep you at work.
- We can often structure your court schedule so that you only have to appear at a single hearing in order to conclude your case.
- In some cases, out-of-town clients may not have to appear in court at all.
Our Plea Negotiations Can Often Save You Money, Points, and Minimize Other Penalties
We are well familiar with the local customs and practices of both the Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office and the judge assigned to your case. This familiarity with similar DUI cases routinely handled in the same courtroom may be of benefit to you. This can be especially true during plea negotiations where we can point out effective mitigating factors in support of leniency in your sentence.
Having us negotiate a plea bargain in your DUI case can have other advantages as well. For example, if you were ticketed for one or more traffic offenses in addition to being charged with DUI, we can also address these citations. Often we can seek the dismissal of these “companion infractions” as part of the plea negotiations by urging the Judge to consider them simply “part & parcel” of the original DUI offense. If successful, this strategy would save you from paying additional fines and allow you to avoid points assessed against your driving record. Having these infractions dismissed could also positively impact your future auto insurance premiums.
We Can Help You Complete Court Obligations in Advance
— May Result in Shorter Probation, Less Fees, Faster Driver License Reinstatement —
We have developed a unique videotape program and information package to help you navigate through the administrative paperwork and State agencies as soon as possible. Many past clients have praised us for the quality and scope of these materials. Our office is equipped to immediately assist you in obtaining the information you need to begin satisfying both court and DHSMV requirements.
We Have the Tools to Teach You What You Need to Know
Our DUI Insider™ video series consists of two separate films. The first video gives an in-depth explanation of Florida’s DUI law. After watching this video you will know what the prosecutor must prove in order to secure a conviction for DUI, what evidence can be used to your benefit or against you, the penalties associated with a DUI conviction, and whether your case may be a good candidate for securing a reduction from DUI to a charge of “reckless driving.”
The second video describes in detail the “Tricks and Traps” associated with DUI School, the mandatory “alcohol counseling” evaluation process, and where appropriate, the community service requirement. By educating our clients on how to navigate through the system quickly, they are often able to reinstate their driving privileges sooner and demonstrate to the judge a positive attitude. A timely effort on the part of an informed client to complete their obligations early may result in additional cost savings.
For example, if you appear in court having already completed all of the necessary requirements associated with a DUI, it may significantly reduce the amount of time you spend on probation. In turn, a reduced probationary period could relieve you of the extra expenses that are incurred by having to pay the monthly “Cost of Probation Supervision Fees.” Shortening your probationary period also works to your advantage because it avoids the further inconvenience of reporting to the probation office and it can significantly reduce the potential for a violation of probationary sentence.
Cutting Through the Red Tape
Our office can provide you with detailed instructions on how to obtain a hardship license and directions to the nearest Driver Improvement Office. We also provide you in advance with the necessary application for a hardship license in order to simplify the reinstatement process.
Do Not Rely Solely on the Advice of Family or Friends
Every DUI case is unique. If you are considering entering a plea of “guilty” or “no contest” to your pending DUI charge, take the time to speak with us first about the individual facts and circumstances of your case. If you don’t want to fight your DUI charge, you still need a coordinated strategy that is designed to minimize the impact on your employment, finances, and driving privilege.