FAQs About DUI Defense
You’re dealing with the allegations that the prosecution made based on technology and then a machine and also on expert testimony of a police officer evaluating whether you are intoxicated or not based on your performance of standardized field sobriety tests. An individual is not equipped to determine what defenses they are able to make out and by having an attorney involved in the process. Attorneys are able to obtain discovery, provide you with access to your own experts and also evaluate the experts that the state is going to put forth as well as the technology available.
A DUI attorney also will be familiar with the prosecutor and will have a frame of reference as to what is the most effective way to negotiate with that prosecutor. Someone who is trying to handle a negotiation themselves may have the right strategy but do it in such a way that alienates the prosecutor and the judge. There are also court ordered timelines in which this work needs to be accomplished and the attorneys that you’re working with and working around.
Many attorneys like myself have gone through the same expert qualifying testing that a police officer has. When you go down the road as a pro se litigant, you don’t know the rules, you don’t know what is going to make your case sellable to the prosecutor and the judge and you may have the inability to obtain experts, to figure out how to obtain the discovery and figure out how to present your defenses to the judge and to the prosecutor.
Some defenses involve things you’d never imagine, such as having an Invisalign brace in your mouth which can trap alcohol. There is also the fact that more and more these days we’re dealing with blood warrants and if you don’t know how to fight the warrant in a legally permissible manner, you’re going to be greatly harming your case.
There is also a psychological reflection on the defendant that when they opt to hire a public defender, they have made a decision in their mind that they are not seriously contesting the charges, and as a result they are not going to be putting themselves in the mind frame to ask the right questions. It’s basically the equivalent of psychologically giving up.
A refusal is the equivalent of getting a second DWI. So, if your idea of avoiding a problem is making it twice as bad and reducing your ability to defend your case, then that’s what you do but I would always recommend that defendants take the chemical breath test because if they don’t, they are in violation of the law and they will be charged with a refusal.
When an officer determines that there are reasons why you should take the chemical breath test, this does not automatically mean that you have lost the case. In fact, by having an attorney who can vigorously evaluate the video and other evidence and cross-examine the officer on field sobriety testing, you can actually win the case at that stage.
At the end of the day, chances are very good that the police are going to find probable cause to give you a chemical breath test if the officer has smelled alcohol in your breath. So, all you’re doing is creating evidence which can be used against you if your attorney is able to suppress that breath test, which is often something that attorney is able to accomplish.
The best way for you to win a case when you’ve said, “I’ve had two beers” is to cooperate with the officer, assist in the creation of as much evidence as possible and take the field sobriety tests so that your attorney can later look to suppress the chemical breath test. You should always have an independent blood analysis done after you’re arrested for DWI to compare with the chemical breath test.
Second, that when an officer determines that you failed the field sobriety test that the case is over – it’s not.
Third, that there is no way to beat the machine – there are over 28 ways that you can use scientific evidence to defeat the chemical breath test.
Attorneys who are experienced with defending blood cases can also request evidence that would weaken the case and which the state may not be prepared to respond to. We don’t know the evidence that we mean to get simply because we are geniuses, we know it because we consult with experts in the field and we are constantly training at symposiums throughout the country.
Get your questions answered – call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (908) 210-9755