If you’re reading this and you’ve been arrested for a DUI, stay calm. These are serious charges, but panicking won’t help.
You’re probably wondering, “what’re the chances I’ll be convicted?” and “what will happen if I am convicted?” Those are tough questions to answer. Getting results after a DUI arrest depends on a number of factors, including the evidence against you, any prior convictions you might have, the prosecuting attorney, and your defense attorney.
Before I go any further, remember that no matter who you choose as your attorney, any case has the possibility of a conviction, acquittal at trial, or plea negotiation. That’s just the nature of our criminal justice system.
Your DUI Case is Unique
First, know that every single DUI case is different. I’ve watched many hundreds of videos of field sobriety tests. I’ve also reviewed the results of hundreds of breath samples and blood tests. And I’ve found that while they may have shared common elements, each DUI case is truly one-of-a-kind.
Let me tell you more about your how to improve your chances of avoiding a DUI conviction, as well as what to ask when looking for a lawyer to handle your DUI case.
Plea Agreements and Reduced Charges
Why are some people offered plea agreements to offenses that are not DUI’s, while others don’t?
It depends heavily upon your choice of lawyer.
Experienced DUI defense attorneys like those at the Judnich Law Office know how use their expertise and the tools available to them to persuade prosecutors to dismiss cases or reach an acceptable plea agreement for a lesser offense. This only occurs after years of trying cases against those prosecutors and achieving results.
There’s No Such Thing as a Cut & Dry DUI
As I mentioned earlier, all DUI cases are unique. Don’t believe people who say that you’re either guilty or you’re not. The law isn’t black and white. There are plenty of grey areas and anyone who says otherwise isn’t worth listening to. In almost any case, you could be convicted if represented by one attorney, yet acquitted in the very same case with a more experienced DUI defense attorney. The difference is the attorney.
And There’s No Such Thing as Magic
Additionally, be wary of any attorney who claims to have a magic formula to winning a DUI case or getting a good result from any case, for that matter.
However, there is such a thing as hard work and sometimes that can seem like magic. The truth is, the more hard work that an attorney puts into a case the more likely he or she is to achieve great results.
Your DUI Attorney is an Investment
Most people realize that experienced attorneys with a good track record when it comes to DUI defenses can cost a lot of money. But this is an investment in your personal future, not an unrecoverable sunk cost.
A positive outcome in your DUI case can save you from missing out on thousands of dollars down the road when it comes to future employment opportunities, not to mention the upfront costs of a DUI conviction. Investing significant amounts of money into a top-tier DUI defense attorney increases the amount of time they can devote to your case.
Do you want your attorney giving your case the bare minimum attention it requires or do you want them to research and explore every reasonable option? Do you want evidence, including police dashcam footage, reviewed for hours or just a few minutes?
Do you expect your attorney to interview the arresting officer? Do you expect your attorney to be able to identify and understand the officer’s training and any biases that may have caused mistakes in your investigation?
An attorney who devotes extra time to your case costs more money than one who isn’t as thorough. Think about it. You wouldn’t want to work extra hard for extra long hours for no money at your job would you?
The Judnich Law Office Difference: Pretrial Dedication
We’ll spend a minimum of 2-3 hours simply dissecting the videotape of our client’s encounter with law enforcement officers. This is the main evidence that prosecutors use at trial, so that is what must be scrutinized.
Our DUI defense attorneys look at everything from the reason an officer pulls a person over, to how they conduct and evaluate field sobriety tests and breath tests. A single viewing isn’t enough. We watch videos over and over, devoting massive amounts of time to extracting the evidence that benefits our clients.
An interview with the arresting officer is almost always necessary. This helps determine exactly what the officer did and did not do. This is important because every law enforcement officer in the United States is supposed to conduct every DUI investigation in exactly the same way.
However, very few officers follow the DUI stop protocols as closely as they are required. Only experienced DUI defense attorneys with access to law enforcement training methods and experience with similar cases can identify and use those facts to their client’s advantage.
When searching for a DUI defense attorney, here are two questions you must ask:
- First, do they have the training manuals officers use and are trained on?
- Next, ask to see them.
If a prospective attorney says no to either question, move on. A thorough understanding of and access to these training manuals are vital to winning a DUI case.
Our Advantage in the Courtroom
Photo: Clyde Robinson on Flickr
Too many attorneys take DUI cases, then plead them out to whatever deal they can get, and never see a trial. This isn’t the best way to get great results for clients. Only attorneys who are willing to take cases all the way to trial receive the best deals from prosecutors.
Do you think a prosecutor is intimidated by an attorney that pleads all of his/her clients out and never goes to trial? Or does intimidation come from attorneys who never accept a bad offer, who are willing to go trial, and who win once they are in the courtroom?
At Judnich Law Office, our attorneys fight for you in the courtroom and we typically obtain great results for our clients.
Choosing the wrong attorney can mean the difference between being convicted of DUI and acquittal.
Do your research, and get in touch to see if experienced DUI defense attorneys like those we have at the Judnich Law Office are the right choice for you.
Marty is a former criminal prosecutor in the Cascade County Attorney’s Office and now uses that experience to defend those accused of crimes. A University of Montana School of Law graduate, Marty focuses his practice on personal injury and criminal defense and is a premier DUI defense attorney. He is also well versed in the insurance claims industry and has negotiated significant settlements with nearly every major insurance company.