If you find yourself faced with a DUI charge, it is extremely important to find a strong criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights and to handle the charges. A DUI on your record can come with a variety of different penalties and collateral consequences, from fines, a suspension of your driver’s license, installation of an interlock device in your vehicle, increased insurance payments, community services, and even possible jail time. Most states treat DUIs very seriously, and the lasting consequences can be tremendous. Seeking advice from a great DUI attorney is your best option to try and move forward with minimal consequences. There are a variety of legal strategies you can use to try and get a DUI case dismissed, or reduced to a lesser charge.
1) Provide Your Defense Attorney With Any and All Mitigation Information
Make sure your lawyer can make a pitch to the prosecutor to show who you are as a person. You will want to provide documentation for things like your work history, letters from friends and family attesting to your character, ways you are involved in the community, ways you take care of your family, and so on. If a DUI conviction could lead to losing your job or other significant hardship, the prosecutor may take that into consideration in determining any type of plea offer, and this could help in having the charges dropped to something much less severe.
2) Ask Your Attorney About Filing a Suppression Motion
If the police pulled over your car illegally, or if they had no legitimate basis to ask you to perform a breathalyzer or field sobriety tests, there may be a valid suppression motion that would have all evidence that was obtained illegally thrown out. If a breathalyzer was done, or if there was blood drawn to determine a BAC level, this may also be able to be challenged. Every state has slightly different rules to determine when and how police officers can pull someone over and ask them questions about drinking and driving, so your DUI attorney will need to review the discovery to determine if this is relevant to your case. However, if you win a suppression motion, the case will likely be dismissed.
3) Consider Enrolling in Alcohol Treatment
If you think drinking has become a problem for you, enrolling in a detox program or outpatient treatment program may be a way to show the prosecutor that you’re taking the charges seriously and trying to address any underlying issues. Even going to an A.A. meeting can make a difference in how a case is handled.
4) If You Have a Strong Case, Go To Trial
There are many circumstances where a person may have been pulled over and issued a ticket for DUI, but they were not under the influence. You will want to speak with your attorney about how to address the evidence the State has against you, and if you have any explanations. For example, some people have medical issues that would compromise their ability to do well on field sobriety tests, which would provide a legal reason for failing these tests that is not due to drunk driving. If you and your attorney decide you have a strong chance of winning the case, going to trial may be the best option.