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Yes, I think that you should get a lawyer. .17 is classified as an "extreme DUI" (anything over .15 is an extreme DUI) and subject to harsher penalties. The minimum jail time in an extreme DUI case is 30 days, max 6 months. The minimum fine is $500, up to $1250, with a probation period of 5 years max.
This is much higher than a typical DUI situation, and a good lawyer could get it reduced to a first time regular DUI or even less. That being said, you need to contact an attorney in your area that deals with DUI cases. Go to www.lawyers.com or www.legalmatch.com to find an attorney in your area. You should be able to find one that will give you a free initial consultation and better advise you of your rights, any problems with your case, likelihood of success, how courts are treating cases such as yours in your area, and what you should do next.
You should get a lawyer that specializes in DUI cases. Don't go with just any lawyer. A DUI specialist will know the law, the ways to challenge the tests, etc... and could get the whole thing thrown out depending on the circumstances.
Given the greater penalties and the criminal record that would result from a conviction, I certainly think that this would be worth it.
Typically a DUI attorney at the misdemeanor level would cost up to $1,000, but that can vary from $500 to $2,000 or more. Misdemeanor attorneys cost less than felony attorneys (the cases take less time, and the penalties are less, so they necessarily charge less), but certainly in your partner's situation, I believe that it would be worth shopping around, talking to at least 3 attorneys to see the chances of success and costs involved.
I would also suggest getting an attorney that has an office within walking distance of the courthouse. A DUI specialist that has an office within walking distance of the courthouse means that this IS what he/she does. There would be a good basis to believe that this attorney knows the prosecutors, judges, and is knowledgeable as to the situation.
Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!
Thank you. You have been extremely helpful. Are you in Arizona? The smiley faces are not "lit" up for me to tap on. How else can I rate you? I would rate you as excellent.
Thank you. I'm actually in Texas, but DUI defense is extremely similar state to state. As for rating, I can't say why that's the case. I will switch to Q&A, so maybe that will help.
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