Should I Go To Trial On My DUI Case?

Explore:  DUI

Understanding burden of proof in the criminal court

To secure a conviction, the state must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution fails to reach its burden of proof, jurors are instructed to come back with a not guilty verdict. This does not mean the jury must believe you are innocent, but rather that the state lacked sufficient evidence of your guilt.

Holding the state to its burden of proof

During the months following your arrest and leading up to your trial, your attorney engages in discovery — the stage of criminal proceedings where your attorney obtains all of the evidence the prosecution intends to use against you and investigates your case to gather additional evidence that may benefit you. The discovery process may include issuing subpoenas of video and/or audio footage of your stop and arrest, issuing subpoenas for a split sample of chemical evidence for independent retesting, consulting experts and interviewing witnesses.  The factual weaknesses we find in the prosecution's case during the discovery phase can influence whether trial can be avoided through a plea agreement or our chances of prevailing in trial.

Agreeing to a plea or taking your case to trial

Most criminal cases are resolved through some form of a plea agreement, not a trial verdict.  The decision to accept a plea agreement or go to trial is an important decsion, which can carry harsh consequences if the wrong decision is made.  Therefore, such an important decision can only be made after a thorough review of the evidence.  It is only after your attorney knows what he or she is potentially  up against in trial that he or she can advise you on whether you have a reasonable chance at an acquittal in trial or that entering into a plea agreement would be in your best interests.

Drunk driving defenses

Our drunk driving defense strategies depend on the circumstances of your case, but may include:

  • The stop was unlawful.
  • Your constitutional rights were violated during your arrest.
  • The officer improperly administered the field sobriety tests.
  • The breathalyzer or other chemical test results were inaccurate.
  • The arrest report contained inconsistencies.

Topics:  DUI

Published In: Criminal Law Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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