3rd March 2022
If you’ve been arrested for DUI – especially if there was a car accident involved – the smartest thing you can do will be to hire an attorney as soon as possible. North Dakota has its fair share of DUI arrests and also has incredibly stiff penalties for this type of offense. Skilled attorneys can do more than just help you get out on bail or bond – they may also be able to either get your penalties reduced or have your case completely thrown out.
Sand Law has a team of attorneys with a great deal of experience representing clients in DUI cases. While we will never make any promises, we can tell you we’ll do everything we can to help. If you would like to schedule a free consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact us online or give us a call at 701-609-1510.
Do I Need to Hire a DUI Defense Attorney?
Not only do you need a DUI defense attorney who is completely familiar with North Dakota’s DUI laws, but you also need to hire one just as fast as you possibly can. Your attorney will immediately get to work building the strongest case possible on your behalf.
DUI cases are typically not black and white. They have a lot of grey areas. The officer in your case may have stopped you on a hunch, rather than having tangible evidence that you were driving while intoxicated – in clear violation of the 4thAmendment, which protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. Your attorney can perform a thorough investigation into your case, taking a comprehensive look at all of the factors that led to your arrest.
What Happens if You Choose Not to Hire an Attorney?
If you don’t have an attorney by your side, the chances of being convicted will rise exponentially. If that happens, you’ll be facing severe punishment. This is just a brief look at the penalties for a DUI in North Dakota.
- Even on a first offense, you could face a fine of between $500-$750, as well as at least two days in jail. In addition, you could lose your license for up to six months. You’ll also have to enroll in an addiction evaluation program.
- The penalties for a second DUI are even worse. If it takes place within seven years after the first DUI, you’ll have to pay a $1,500 fine and remain in jail for 10 days. Your license could be suspended for as long as two years.
- A third DUI carries a $2,000 fine, four months imprisonment, and a license suspension of up to three years.
- Anyone convicted of a fourth or subsequent DUI within seven years of the first one will face a year in jail, two years of probation, and a $2,000 fine.
As you can see, the stakes will be incredibly high if you’ve been charged with a DUI. Your only chance of avoiding these harsh penalties will be to hire a DUI attorney.
How a DUI Attorney Can Help With Your Case
There are a lot of things a DUI attorney can do in an effort to either reduce the penalties you’re facing or potentially help you avoid those penalties altogether. Here are just a few to keep in mind.
They Can Use Their Knowledge of Local Courts, Policies, and More
Experienced attorneys will know the court system inside and out. They’ll know the rules of the court, and they’ll also know all of the judges. Attorneys have a very good idea of how these judges think, and will also have a feel for what types of arguments are most effective when presenting a case to juries.
They’ll Keep Track of Legal Deadlines and All Documentation
DUI cases have specific deadlines that must be met. For example, a defendant will have to request potentially powerful evidence, such as video from a police car dashboard camera, by a certain date. If that request isn’t made, that evidence will be nearly impossible to obtain. There will also be a mountain of paperwork. An attorney will be able to handle all of that so you don’t have to.
They’ll Negotiate with Prosecutors on Your Behalf
Attorneys also know how to talk to prosecutors to either help you avoid jail time or significantly lessen any other penalties you might face.
They Can Help Get Your Conviction Expunged
A DUI conviction could hound you for years, affecting not only your credit but also your chances of finding a job in the future. Even if you are convicted, your attorney can work to get that conviction expunged so it doesn’t continue to haunt you.
Of course, your attorney will work feverishly to make sure a conviction doesn’t happen. The best-case scenario would obviously be to have your case dropped completely. Here are a few of the ways that might happen.
- Your breathalyzer test was inaccurate – These tests are not only notoriously inaccurate, they often pick up non-alcoholic substances, such as medications or even certain types of foods.
- Your stop was illegal – The police can only stop you if you’re doing something against the law, such as running a red light or a stop sign, or speeding. You can also be stopped if your car was weaving. If none of those apply to your case, then there’s a good chance the officer had no legal grounds to pull you over in the first place.
- Your field sobriety test was invalid – Most field sobriety tests are inaccurate as well, not to mention outdated. If this test is the basis of the prosecution’s case against you, an attorney could possibly have the results thrown out of court.
Talk to an Experienced DUI Attorney Today
Hopefully, you’re now convinced that it will be in your best interests to hire a DUI attorney as fast as possible. Sand Law attorneys will work passionately on your behalf to help you get this terrible experience behind you. Give us a call at 701-609-1510 or use our online form for a free case review.