If you are involved in a DUI, you should consult with the best DUI lawyer in Arizona who specializes in these cases as soon as possible. This is true even though most DUI cases are settled before they have to go to trial. It is important, especially if you are arrested, that you get representation as soon as you can because you will need someone who is knowledgeable and able to handle all the details of posting bail to get you out of jail right away. Many competent lawyers are even able to get your bail eliminated, if not at least reduced.
Often your lawyer may be able to work out a plea bargain for you. In that case, he or she can sometimes find a mutually agreeable plea deal between the defense and the prosecution or even arrange to have your case dismissed.
Whether or not you will want to go to trial is dependent on a variety of factors and every case is different.
How To Decide Whether Or Not To Go To Trial For A DUI
First, you will need to consider the possible penalties that you will face if you are convicted. The reduced penalties that you may receive in a plea bargain may make that an attractive alternative for you. You should consider the following:
- What do you think they will say?
- Do you think they will actually show up for the trial?
- Are they credible witnesses?
- Do you think the arresting officer will skip the trial?
How Strong Is The Evidence That Has Been Prepared Against You
- Do you think it will be strong enough for a conviction?
- Will your attorney be able to answer the charges adequately?
What Will Happen If You Decide To Go To Trial?
You Will Have To Make A Choice
- Your case can either be decided by the judge alone, or
- You have a right to be tried before a jury. The majority of people do choose a trial by jury.
If you do go to trial you will find that it follows a format similar to most trials, such as the following:
- The defense and the prosecution will select the jury
- Both sides will present their opening statements
- Both sides will present their evidence
- Witnesses can be called for examination and cross-examination
- Instructions will be sent to the jury. They will be asked to apply the law in the case, not just follow their instincts
- The jury will deliberate
- You will be found either innocent or guilty
If it happens that you are convicted, your sentence can range anywhere from simple fines of a few hundred dollars and suspension of your driver’s license to somewhere between 6 and 18 months in prison if you are a repeat offender or it was a more serious situation.
Some of the factors that are taken into consideration in sentencing are your blood alcohol reading when you were arrested, how many times you’ve been charged with DUI and any other circumstances that occurred at the time you were arrested and what your Scottsdale DUI lawyer has advised for your to do. For example, if you were involved in a serious accident involving injury or death, it will be much worse than if you were pulled over late at night. The first case is a felony and will result in much heavier fines and charges that could put you in prison for several years.
Also, the more offenses you have, usually the greater the fines and penalties will be. For example, if this is your fourth offense, you could be facing prison time of up to a year or up to a $10,000 fine.
No matter where you are it the process of fighting a DUI, you need to contact a capable lawyer who is experienced in dealing with DUI offenses at a DUI trial. Don’t try to talk yourself through this because you could end up in a lot more trouble by trying to do that.
The Factors That Need To Be Considered When Hiring A DUI Lawyer
- The lawyer you choose should have a track record that you can verify
- To get a good lawyer you should ask for referrals
- Make sure you check the attorney’s success rate
- Find out if you feel comfortable with the lawyer
Your lawyer will use certain tactics to defeat the prosecution and he or she will need to extensively research the following:
- Check to see that the field sobriety test was conducted properly
- Prepare to discount subjective statements the arresting officer may have made such as
- The subject had alcohol on his breath
- The subject “seemed to be drunk”
- Discover any procedural errors that might have been made during the arrest
- Did any witness testify for or against your sobriety when you were arrested?
- Was the chemical test performed accurately?
Whether your DUI charges are for a felony or a misdemeanor, you will find that these charges are treated very seriously in most states so you need to retain an attorney with a great deal of experience in handling a DUI. He or she should deal with this type of charge daily and should be familiar with all the fine points of the law and thoroughly understand how the courtroom operates.
Don’t take a chance that you might be convicted if, at any stage of your DUI, it is possible to prove your innocence. The stakes in fines and penalties are way too high to take this chance and risk a conviction, either for a felony or a misdemeanor.