Should I Go To Trial For My DUI?
Hello, Im Brent Horst, Attorney at Law. If you’re watching this, there’s a good chance you have just been arrested and charged with a DUI. Now what? Do you spend thousands of dollars to try to beat the case, or just take your lumps and go in and plead guilty? Believe it or not, I do not believe that in every case you should spend thousands of dollars to try to beat the case. I believe it is unethical for a lawyer to advise you to do that without proper and full disclosure to what he really, truly believes he can do for you.
DUIs are always a concern because of the mandatory jail time and license suspension. Those mandatory penalties go up with the number of DUIs you have but a DUI can ruin a career for sure.
When you call, we’re going to talk about several factors that will tell me very quickly whether you have a good chance to beat your DUI, whether it’s just too close to call, or three, hey you mine as well just buy that lottery ticket because the odds of beating the case are pretty low. Those four things are: first of all, driving, were you going 5 miles an hour over the speed limit or going the wrong way on the interstate? Two, did you look sober or intoxicated on the DUI video? Three, what is the blood test, were you a .09 or .20 or did you refuse the test. Four, prior offenses, do you have prior DUI, arrests, or convictions?
So let’s talk about a couple of examples so we can get an idea about hey, can we beat your case and when can we help you? Let’s look at one. First, if you have had a few drinks and on the way home you’re stopped for speeding, 5 miles over the speed limit. You take the test and it’s a .09 and you look pretty good on the police officers DUI video. Chances are, we can beat that case or at least get it reduced to reckless driving so that you do not have that mandatory jail time or driver’s license suspension. Let’s look at another one, number two. You’re stopped on the way home, again you have had a few drinks, you’re speeding—not too bad, but when you take that breath test, it’s a little higher—.11. Worst of all, you have had a prior arrest for a DUI. In that scenario, we might be able to help you, but it’s going to be more difficult. Primarily because of that prior DUI. The prosecutor is going to be much more difficult to deal with. So we might be able to help you, but in the end we may have to take that case to trial and see how we do. Let’s look at a third situation. You’re driving home after drinking a lot, you’re going the wrong way on the interstate, many cars on the road. You’re pulled over, you refuse the DUI or blood test and on the officers DUI video, you’re sloppy drunk. And not only that, you have had two prior offenses. We’re not going to beat that case, unless we get really, really lucky. However, we can probably help you to get the case reduced to a second offense or something of that nature and to reduce the jail time and driver’s license suspension. But it’s important to have realistic expectations.
As we have talked about, in some cases we do not recommend spending thousands of dollars to try and beat the unbeatable case. However, there are some exceptions where it does make sense to make that investment, even if the case looks extremely difficult or highly unlikely we can beat the case. First of all, if you have a very good job you are going to lose if you are convicted, for example, you’re a CDL truck driver. That just might justify the investment to make that hail mary pass. Second instance is hey, you just need some time to figure things out. You need a year, two years to plan for this driver license suspension, serving a couple days in jail then it makes sense to make that investment. Third, you can afford it. You just want to punch that lottery ticket on the off-chance we get lucky, which can happen.
When you call me, I’m going to give you a no-fee consultation where we talk about all these factors as they apply to your specific case. At the end of that consultation, I’m going to tell you: a, yes, I think we can beat your case, b, hey it’s just too close to call, or c, it’s a hail marry pass to try and win your case and you need to think seriously about whether you want to make that investment. The one thing I can promise you, is that you will receive a fair, honest evaluation. I look forward to speaking with you.