Why Fighting Your DUI Case is the Best Option
You may be wondering right now after your DUI arrest, does it even make sense to fight my DUI case? The answer is unequivocally YES! Despite the facts of your arrest, the basis for the traffic stop, your performance on field sobriety tests (FST's), and the results of the chemical test of their blood or breath (if you took one), you can fight and win a DUI case.
REMEMBER: If you plead guilty to DUI, you will be found guilty of DUI. If you don't fight your case, if you go into court and plead guilty to drunk driving and throw yourself on the mercy of the judge and prosecutor, there is a 100% chance that you will be convicted of drunk driving after your DUI arrest. If you want to know more, speak to a skilled DUI lawyer in your state to find out about your defense.
If your state allows for a jury trial (not all states do), if the prosecutor cannot convince all 12 of the jurors of a defendant's guilt, there is no conviction. That means you will walk away with a clean record! There are three possible results following a jury trial: all 12 agree on the defendant's guilt; all 12 agree on the defendant's innocence, or some vote one way and some vote another. The latter outcome is known as a "hung jury", and if you happen to be the defendant in a DUI case, you are happy to have one, since it will likely mean that the case will be dismissed.
All this means that you and your attorney only need to convince one of the 12 jurors to vote not guilty in order to win your DUI case. One out of 12. The alternative, often times, is to throw yourself on the mercy of a system that has no mercy. Isn't that reason enough to fight your case? Itís so important to take the time to speak with a defense attorney near you to start planning your strategy!
If you are fortunate enough to be facing a first-offense driving under the influence charge, there is another reason to fight your DUI case. Most people charged with a first-offense DUI, swears that they will never be in this situation again, that the notion of being charged with a second-offense DUI is so remote as to be impossible. Most folks charged with a second-offense DUI wishes they fought the first one. Invariably, the first one presented issues that are absent in the second one. The first DUI is the one you want to fight, if, for no other reason than ensuring that you are not susceptible to a charge of a second-offense DUI.
Also, if you plead guilty (or "no contest," which is treated by the court the same as a guilty plea, although it cannot be used against you in a civil lawsuit) after your DUI arrest, you will be placed on probation for three to five years. During that time, you will be required to do many things, such as pay fines, attend DUI classes, and so on. One of the terms and conditions of probation in any DUI case is that the probationer is not to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in their body.
This can be a real problem if the second DUI arrest takes place while someone is still on probation from the first. In order to convict someone of a criminal act (such as driving under the influence), 12 jurors must unanimously agree that they are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt in the defendant's guilt. It is the highest standard in the law, and it is the jury that gets to decide it. As mentioned above, if only one out of 12 sides with the accused, a hung jury is the result, which is great news for the defendant.
However, in the case of a probation violation, where someone is accused of violating the term and condition that they not drive with any alcohol in their body, they don't get a jury trial. It is up to the judge. And the judge doesn't have to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. The judge only has to be convinced by a preponderance of the evidence. This is not the same high standard of a criminal case; this is a much lower standard, which has been described as just tipping the scales in favor of one side or the other. Being on probation is, potentially, a recipe for disaster. It is not a responsibility to take lightly. This is why you need to have a DUI lawyer on your side. When fighting your first, or even your second, third or fourth offense, a lawyer can make sure you donít end up with serious penalties.
Thankfully, we live in a country that has Constitutional safeguards. The right to a jury trial after a DUI arrest would be meaningless if the person charged with DUI was punished for exercising that right. If you or someone you care about has been charged with a DUI, or some other drunk driving type of offense, please consult with a professional that specializes in defending drunk driving cases. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
It is far better to have fought and lost than never to have fought at all.
If you've been charged with an alcohol-related offense, one of our DUI LAWS can help. Click here to find the lawyer nearest you.