Every year, over 1 million drivers get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) as a result. If you're charged with a DUI, you'll need to prepare yourself for court. Here's everything you need to know about preparing yourself for a DUI courtroom case. With these tips, you can learn how to behave before and during your trial.
The choices you make before your trial could improve your chances of reducing your sentence. Keep reading to learn more!
Know the Potential Consequences
First, it's important to understand the potential consequences you're facing. Understanding exactly what's on the line could motivate you to build a strong defense for your case.
The consequences you might face after receiving a DUI will depend on the state you're in during the arrest. Your unique situation and the circumstances of your arrest can impact the judge's decision, too.
Here are a few potential consequences you might face after receiving a DUI:
Getting disqualified from certain jobs (such as driving a school bus or ride-share car)
Court-mandated AA meetings
Losing your license and driving privileges
An increased insurance rate (the insurance company might cancel your policy altogether)
Fees, fines, and penalties
Participation in a drug and alcohol education course
Getting an ignition interlock device installed on your car
Remember, the circumstances of your case can impact the consequences you'll face. For example, driving with blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.20% could cause you to face harsher penalties.
Other circumstances that can impact the severity of your punishment include:
Driving with a young passenger in the car
Driving with a suspended driver's license
Refusing to take the breathalyzer test
Prior DUI conviction
Driving under the legal age (which could result in a conviction regardless of your BAC)
You might also injury someone as the result of drinking and driving. If someone gets injured or dies, it could increase your crime from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Some factors could help your case. For example, were you driving safely before getting pulled over? Are you a first-time offender? Maybe you were only impaired after taking prescription medications. A judge will keep these factors in mind when reviewing your case.
Find a Lawyer
A first-time offense could cost you upwards of $10,000 in legal fees and fines. It's better to pay for a qualified lawyer who can reduce your sentence than to get locked behind bars. If you want to learn how to behave in court, consider hiring an experienced DUI attorney.
Your DUI attorney will help you prepare for your case. They'll teach you how to speak, dress, and behave while in court. They can also coach you on how to answer questions from the opposing counsel. When looking for a DUI attorney, make sure they focus on DUI cases. Look for someone with years of experience taking on DUI cases. A lawyer who focuses on DUI cases will have knowledge that can benefit your case.
A lawyer with a focus on DUI will keep track of cases, laws, and procedures that might help build your case, too. Make sure the lawyer you choose has experience practicing DUI law in your state. Remember, the laws can differ based on the state you're charged in.
As you search for a DUI attorney, ask if they have any certifications or specific training. For example, you might want to look for a lawyer who is a member of the California DUI Lawyers Association. There are over 823,900 practicing lawyers in the country. Make sure to find the one most qualified to take on your case.
Building Your Defense
Take the time to build your defense with your DUI attorney. They can help you determine the best argument for your case. A strong DUI defense will take time and know-how.
1. Failure to Follow Testing Procedures
Talk to your lawyer about what happened before and after your DUI arrest. Your arresting officer should have completed a field sobriety test (FST) to determine your BAC. Officers must follow proper testing protocols when administering these tests. If these test are not done properly your lawyer can argue they are of little to no evidentiary value.
2. Medical Conditions
Were you taking a prescription medication that made you appear drunk? Maybe allergies made your eyes look watery. Your lawyer could argue a medical condition made you seem drunk at the time of your arrest.
3. Improper Testing and Storage
Your arresting officer should also make sure a licensed phlebotomist completes your BAC analysis. If your blood samples were contaminated or mislabeled, your lawyer could have the evidence thrown out.
Build Your DUI Defense: How to Present Yourself During a Case
Ready to build your DUI defense? Keep these tips in mind. Consulting a qualified attorney could make or break your case. Don't wait to build your case. Contact your DUI attorney today to get started.