All 50 states consider driving with an illegal blood alcohol content to be a criminal offense, although minimum penalties vary. Some of the more serious offenses are charged as felonies and carry the possibility of a lengthy jail sentence. A judge could sentence a first-time offender to several months of incarceration, depending on the circumstances. Anyone facing these risks may want to hire a DUI lawyer for representation.
An ordinary person with no legal background can find it challenging to defend the case effectively. Tactics they might consider useful can backfire. For instance, a defendant trying to mitigate blame or defer responsibility will probably aggravate the district attorney and the judge. Yet those two officials have the power to substantially affect the case outcome positively or negatively.
For instance, a person might try to gain sympathy by saying the incident occurred because a close friend died unexpectedly. This will not persuade the prosecution to reduce the charges or a judge to dismiss the case.
The judge may be irritated that the defendant does not accept responsibility for their behavior. This could lead to issuing a harsher sentence than might otherwise have happened.
Possible Legal Strategies for the Best Outcome
In contrast, a DUI lawyer knows the best kinds of defenses and which can actually have detrimental effects. The lawyer might convince the prosecution to reduce the charges. Depending on the jurisdiction, a reduced charge might be reckless or impaired driving. This sometimes is accomplished for a first-time offender whose BAC was barely beyond the legal limit.
Another strategy is to look for improper procedures by law enforcement officials involved in the case. If any irregularities are found, a judge may dismiss the case.
The Goal of Lenient Sentencing
Sometimes conviction of DUI cannot be avoided. The lawyer then works to convince the judge to issue a lenient sentence. Character witnesses could be brought forth to vouch for the defendant's good behavior and citizenship. This is particularly effective when the person has never been in trouble with the law before.
The most positive outcome would be the minimum punishment allowed by law. Depending on the jurisdiction, the person might only be required to serve a few days behind bars and could avoid jail time altogether. Typically, completing a course on safe driving is required for everyone convicted of this offense.
Anyone needing legal representation after being charged with this offense may contact a local DUI lawyer for a consultation.Share
30 August 2021
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