I was recently arrested for a DUI and the case seems pretty cut and dry (didn't resist arrest, blew above .08). It was a stupid mistake, I just want to know the best way to handle this as I don't see that there's any way/reason to fight this.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Would you ask if you needed a doctor for brain surgery?
You absolutely should have an attorney for every critical phase of your case. There are many valid defenses to DUI charges and you won't know if any of these apply to the facts in your case until you speak with an attorney. In fact, you won't know what options are available in the first place. Blowing greater than .08 is not a guaranteed conviction. There may be many reasons for the breathalyzer result that do not accurately reflect the person's BAC at the time of driving, which is the time period that matters.
The reason you want an attorney at the DMV hearing is to question the arresting officer and make a record for any potential trial or perhaps, negotiations with the District Attorney. If the arresting officer testifies one way at the hearing and another way later in your case, his or her earlier testimony may be used to impeach his or her credibility. The same goes for you. Furthermore, any statements that you make during the hearing which can constitute an admission may be used against you in your criminal case and may foreclose options with the District Attorney.
You should get a free consultation with a DUI attorney before making this decision, which must be made within 10 days of the arrest. Day one is the day after the issue date they put on your pink temporary license, and weekends count as part of the 10. If day 10 lands on a weekend, then Monday after that weekend is day 10.
There are a number of issues at the hearing, and I have won these countless times when the BAC was way above .08%. Odds are against you to win the DMV hearing, but that's better than the zero chance of winning if you don't request the hearing.
Have a couple of consultations with DUI attorneys in your area. These should be free and might expose some opportunities to win that DMV hearing. You just cannot do it yourself as that will always result in a suspension. Do you have the police report and the DMV form DS-367? These are essential to the DMV hearing and without them it is very hard to speculate on your chances of success.
Yes you need an attorney. My colleagues have summed it up. An attorney might be able to get it dismissed; reduced- and the DMV suspension set aside. Get an attorney.