By Clint C. Cohrs
The Gasper Law Group
Imagine this situation. You have recently turned 18, and are now legally an adult. You are young, impressionable and apt to making poor decisions with little regard to the consequences of your actions. Next thing you know you find yourself face to face with a police officer who is writing you a ticket and arresting you for driving under the influence. You are in the back of the police car driving to the hospital for the required tests and wondering to yourself, what do I do now? What are my rights? Am I going to jail? How much is this going to cost me? Do I need an attorney?
This was me 8 years ago. I was scared, making minimum wage, and had no clue of how the legal system works. All I knew was that I had a court date and needed help. I contacted several attorneys and after realizing the cost of my actions, decided to go it alone. That might not have been the best decision ... but after all, hindsight is 20-20!
The only thing I knew was that I had a court date coming up, and had better be there. After showing up to a few dates, and meeting with the district attorney a couple of times I was able to negotiate a “deal”. At the time I was pretty satisfied with myself, and the money I had saved by doing it myself. This is until the sentencing came. I was facing jail time, restitution costs, community service, drug/alcohol abuse classes, random drug/alcohol tests, and therapy. To make things worse I no longer had a valid driver’s license to help me complete all of these court ordered tasks.
How could things get any worse? What would have been the outcome if I had hired an attorney? To this day, I still ask myself these very questions. Don’t let yourself be caught in this situation wondering how things could have been better. Get the expertise of someone who knows the legal system and will fight to ensure that your rights and concerns are addressed. I sure wish that I had…