Going to court for any reason can be an extremely daunting experience, but having to defend yourself against DUI charges can seem like a legal nightmare. A charge of Driving Under the Influence can have a profound influence on your professional and personal life – leading to fines, jail time, community service hours, and in many cases – mandated participation in an Alcoholics Anonymous program. Another potential reality connected with DUI charges is that your license can be suspended or even revoked, depending on the circumstances. Learn how to properly prepare yourself for your DUI court hearing so that you can make a strong case when you are mandated to appear in court.
Why Are Drunk Driving Court Cases on the Rise?
Charges of driving under the influence have become more and more common, especially as the police have become more and more strict about drunk driving prevention. Any little cause for concern, such as forgetting to properly use turn signals or fully stop at four-way streets, can lead to being pulled over by the police on late nights. Even those who might be perfectly capable driving – those whose blood alcohol contents are measured far below the legal limit – have been targeted in an effort to curb late-night driving after one or two drinks. Though the aim of making an example of cases is understandable in that it may help with drunk driving prevention in the future, that does not mean that you have to serve as the example when you committed no crime. If you find yourself pulled over by the police, maintain your composure and speak calmly to the police officer – only to answer his or her specific questions. By providing any extraneous details, you might inadvertently incriminate yourself even further, strengthening the case of the police office and putting yourself in danger of additional charges.
Working the Courtroom: How to Win Over a Jury
Unfortunately, jurors do not always approach cases unbiased – and have been shown to unflinchingly side with the law on DUI cases simply to punish the individual involved for drinking. Often these jurors will assume that the defendant practiced irresponsible drinking habits when asked to serve jury duty for such cases, never considering that the charges may have been unfairly placed in the first place. As a result, the assumption that the jury will be fair and just in their approach to your case should be thrown out the window entirely.
In dealing with this reality, many DUI lawyers have found it extremely useful to negotiate with the District Attorney outside of court regarding DUI charges. A Motion to Suppress evidence, though a time-consuming procedure, can be a great strategy for attempting to lower your fines, sentence length, or community service hours. The goal is to reduce or remove the amount of chemical evidence – such as a PAS or blood alcohol test – that can be used in terms of your sentencing. If the District Attorney lacks this information, it is relatively impossible to impose a severe sentence on simply DUI grounds.
Finding Lawyers Who Will Best Represent Your Case in Court
Unlike taking your case to traffic court, defending yourself against DUI charges in court can be an extremely huge deal, and self-representation is ill-advised. Be sure to do your fair share of research about a potential law office to work with, and to adequately prepare for your case under their legal counsel. Continual work with a law office that has demonstrated success in winning DUI can help you to increase your chances of winning by presenting your case carefully and backing up your claims with solid research.