Re: DUI Lawyers
What evidence, if any, do you have in your defense to fight the charge, and justifies hiring a lawyer? Because in DUI cases one better be able to present some sound evidence or most judges are always going to side with the arresting officer (police report).
Was there a breathalyser or video taken of the road test? Even if there wasn't. Maybe you refused to take the breathalyser for whatever reason. People do. That arresting officer's police report is pretty much going to be accepted as gospel by the judge unless a lawyer can show some sort of error or mistake made by that officer.
I'm assuming the date you mention is your initial court date? I'm pretty sure the only thing you'll be able to do THEN, even with a lawyer present, is get the opportunity to enter your plea ... guilty, not guilty, no contest. And a lot of judges will tell you that entering a no contest plea will be seen by them as pleading guilty.
If you plead not guilty, then I think you may be given a pre-trial date. That's where you, your lawyer, the prosecuting attorney, and the arresting officer, come before the judge to hear testimony and review evidence. Any time prior to that, depending on the evidence, as well as any priors you may have, the prosecuting attorney and your lawyer, may be agree to a plea deal...like dropping it down to reckless op.
But if that prosecuting attorney thinks the evidence he has is strong enough, or that your's is weak, then he may very well not agree to any plea deal. And that's where you and your lawyer have to sit down and decide it you want to take it to a jury trial.
I will say this (below) because I have numerous acquaintances who are sheriffs and police officers, as well as one who is a lawyer who specializes in DUIs. And this is what the lawyer told me about those that take DUIs to trial.....
You better have a pretty strong case that will persuade that jury or raise reasonable doubt. Because Judges and Prosecuting Attorneys.... even though it doesn't appear right or fair, and you have a constitutional right to ask for a jury trial.... see it as a waste of their time by having to invest such time in preparing their case, the many hours involved, set a court date, assemble jurors, and the taxpayers pay for all of that.
So if you're found guilty, they sort of have this "resentment" - again it's not right - but the judge will most likely give you the stiffest sentence he can because of it all.
At least that what I've been told that is how it is done up here in my county when it comes to DUIs. While drinking and driving is not a good thing, from the justice system perspective it's not just about taking punitive action against the offender; but they are also seen as steady source of revenue generation. And again, I've been told that by numerous law enforcement people. I can pick up my paper everyday, and I live in a small/mid-sized city here in central Ohio, and see anywhere from 5-7 DUI arrests daily.
"panic" only comes from having real expectations
Last edited by GAC; 02-26-2010 at 06:15 AM.