DUI cases can be won. It happens everyday.
BUT, without the right strategy, work, and knowledge, there is very little chance your DUI will be reduced to a reckless driving, dismissed, or that you will be found not guilty.
Those things only happen when thoughtful planning and thorough execution of the plan come together.
There are several things that you can do to help your case.
We may not recommend every one of these in every case. Each case requires its own custom defense strategy, put together by a DUI lawyer who knows how to evaluate and prepare your case, but below are 7 of the best things you can do, with your lawyer’s advice, to help you win.
Write your lawyer a thorough and detailed account of the day and night of your arrest
Details are important to crafting a customized DUI defense.
Err on the side of including everything you can remember, even if you don’t think it is important.
Make sure to include times to the best of your ability, what happened, where it happened, who was there, and contact information for people your DUI attorney needs to contact. Also, make sure its addressed to your lawyer and not shared with others! This document needs to be attorney-client privileged.
Use your phone!
Your smartphone is likely to be helpful in putting times on certain events, including phone calls, text messages, and photos.
Memories fade quickly so it is important to get your thoughts written out as soon as possible to win your DUI case.
Have a qualified counselor administer an alcohol and drug assessment, and follow the recommendations.
Every DUI prosecutor’s worst nightmare is giving someone a break by reducing their DUI charge and then having that person show back up in court weeks or months later with another DUI, or worse, a DUI where someone was injured.
Undergoing a professional assessment can show you are taking your charges and your health seriously and that you are not a threat to be a repeat offender.
If you do have a problem, it will allow you to get the help you need and show that you are on the road to recovery which can help you win your DUI case.
Its important that you use a respected professional with good credentials for the assessment. Prosecutors often have seen many opinions from experts and have formed an opinion about them. Be sure the assessor you use has a good reputation with the District Attorneys.
Gather relevant medical records
Have you ever had an injury to your feet, ankles, legs, knees or back?
What about inner ear issues, Meniere’s Disease, diabetes, or Attention Deficit Disorder?
Were you in an accident before being arrested where you hit your head, had the airbags deploy, or injured yourself?
All of these, and others, can have an impact on your ability to perform field sobriety tests and can result in the officer making an incorrect arrest decision.
Your attorney can use your medical records to dispute the State’s evidence and the officer’s version of events.
Attend a DUI Education Course, often called “DUI School”
If you are convicted of DUI you are required to attend this 12-hour class that educates you about the dangers of drunk driving anyway, so why not do it ahead of time and use that to your advantage?
Doing so before even your first court date can help set you apart from the 100 other people in the courtroom who have not taken this proactive step and could lead to a favorable result.
Often times courts have certain requirements as to where you can get credit for participating in a DUI school, so be sure to check with your lawyer. You could choose the wrong one and have to spend even more time and money to redo it.
Gather degrees, transcripts, awards, and proof of employment
Who is more likely to get a reduction in their charges, a good citizen, who is going through school, maintains a steady job, and contributes to their community or the person who does none of these (or fails to bring them to the prosecutor’s attention)?
While obviously not a direct defense to DUI, proof of degrees, enrollment in school, and negative job consequences can sometimes be the extra nudge needed to get from a good result to a great one.
Rely on your DUI attorney to let you know which of these documents to get and then get them to him or her well ahead of your court date.
Attend a MADD Victim Impact Panel
Mother’s Against Drunk Driving puts on a program in several East Tennessee counties, including Knox, Sevier and Blount, called a Victim Impact Panel. It is an approximately two-hour presentation that explores the consequences of Drunk Driving on others.
After attending you will be given a certificate that your attorney can use in negotiating with the prosecutor.
More than one client has told me how glad they were after they attended this class, even when they weren’t looking forward to going. It provides a unique perspective on DUI and its consequences that can be very helpful.
Speak openly with your DUI attorney
Getting a DUI charge can be embarrassing, but just as a doctor will get the wrong diagnosis if you fail to tell him all your symptoms and risk factors (sorry doc, forgot to mention my two pack a day habit), your DUI attorney will start from behind the eight ball if you are not up front about the facts of your case.
Tell your attorney the very worst version of facts that he might expect to hear, and he can be ready address them, rather than being blindsided.
If you or a loved one have been charged with DUI in Knoxville or anywhere in East Tennessee, call the Barnes Law Firm today for a no pressure, no nonsense, free consultation with an attorney today at (865) 999-0294.