So you get a DUI. You are overwhelmed. You are nervous. You are a little embarrassed. You need a minute to process it all, and why not, you think; you have almost a month before you need to go to court. You may think you have time to work through all your emotions and then hire a lawyer right before that month is up and your first court date arrives.
However, there are many important reasons why it is best to retain a lawyer right away.
For starters, in a DUI you will be facing a summary suspension of your license. In order to seek to rescind that suspension you would want a lawyer immediately so that they can file a Petition to Rescind, which should be filed 31 days before your first court date. This time frame approaches fast, and you don't want to miss opportunities to best help yourself in the case.
Another reason it can help to retain a lawyer right away is that the officer may have had his in-car dashboard camera on during the stop. A lawyer would want to take steps to obtain the recording before the first court date. This is important for a variety of reasons. For instance, obtaining it would help determine if the officer used it, or on the other hand, did not use it. Further, asking for it early prevents it being lost or destroyed and also gives the attorney time to review the events as they occurred. Similarly, a lawyer would want obtain videos taken at the police station or from cameras near the incident. Often these cameras record over their tapes and if you do not work to obtain the recording right away, you could be too late to get it.
Lastly, one benefit to hiring a lawyer in advance of court is to help you walk through the events closer to the time of the arrest, while it is still fresh in your mind. A DUI lawyer would have a series of questions they would want to know to help build your defense and evaluate your case and often they will ask you about things you may not know we're important, or that you could forget as time goes on.
These are a few valuable reasons why if you are arrested for a DUI it may be best to seek out an attorney right away. It may make the difference in your case.