If you are currently facing charges for driving under the influence, or DUI, in the State of Nebraska you are likely debating the need to retain the services of an attorney, particularly if you are guilty. After all, what is the point in hiring an attorney for your Nebraska DUI if you are guilty of the charges and do not plan to take the case to trial? This line of thinking is both common and understandable; however, there are a number of reasons why it is in your best interest to have an experienced Nebraska DUI attorney on your side even if you are guilty.
In reality, the vast majority of people charged with driving under the influence are indeed guilty of the crime. Most of those people simply accept the plea agreement offered to them by the prosecuting attorney without bothering to negotiate with the prosecutor much less wage any type of defense. One of the primary reasons for this is the simple fact that most defendants are not aware of the benefits to hiring an attorney even in cases where they are clearly guilty. Hopefully, by understanding those benefits you will not make the mistake of proceeding without an experienced DUI attorney on your side.
There are two primary reasons why it is in your best interest to retain an attorney for your Nebraska DUI case, even if you are fairly certain you will accept a plea agreement. The first reason stems from a fundamental concept in our criminal justice system – innocent until proven guilty. The State of Nebraska, through the prosecuting attorney, has the burden of proving you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. While you may be under the assumption they can do that since you were, in fact, driving under the influence, it is quite possible that your assumption is wrong. Police officers are human and make mistakes all the time. Sometimes they even cross the line and do things such as conduct illegal searches or make traffic stops without a valid reason. Likewise, chemical test results can be inaccurate, or even completely inadmissible because of something as simple as a failure to calibrate the machine on a regular basis as required by law. Any one of these circumstances could lead to evidence being inadmissible at trial. That, in turn, could lead to the prosecutor’s inability to meet his/her burden of proving you guilty. If circumstances such as these are present in your case, wouldn’t you want to know?
The second reason why it is best to have an experienced attorney on your side becomes apparent during plea negotiations — or the lack thereof without an attorney. All plea agreements are not created equal nor is there a “standard” plea agreement given to all defendants. Most terms in a plea agreement are negotiable and can be negotiated in your favor. If you can spend less time in jail or on probation wouldn’t you prefer that? If you can avoid having to install an ignition interlock device wouldn’t that be better? The only way to know with certainty that you are agreeing to the most favorable plea agreement possible is to have an experienced Nebraska DUI attorney Negotiate the agreement on your behalf.