Getting a first DUI is usually a harrowing experience. In many cases, when we meet clients who are facing a first DUI offense, it’s their first criminal offense of any kind. They’re naturally worried. They ask if they can expect jail time or a license suspension. They worry that they’re going to lose their job especially if it involves driving.
The good news is that you have options. Many people who get a first drunk driving offense quickly recognize the errors of their ways and never commit another criminal offense in their entire lifetime. Our law firm knows that good people make mistakes. That’s why it’s our goal to help you explore your options and make the best possible plan for your future.
Preparing for court
It’s important to address each step of the case in addition to preparing for trial. If you have an arraignment, the court might set bond conditions. These conditions might include that you avoid possessing or using alcohol or illegal drugs. If you possess alcohol for your employment, we can help you seek an exception for this rule. This might come into play if you’re a bartender, server or distributor.
It’s important to present yourself professionally at each court appearance. You might appear in front of the judge that ultimately gives you a sentence. That makes it important to be respectful and contrite at all times. When we work with clients, we’re able to speak on their behalf and help them address the judge in the best manner possible.
Defending the charges
We want to investigate the charges against you. You’re innocent until proven guilty. Sometimes, law enforcement officers make mistakes when they investigate a DUI offense. If they didn’t have a good reason to believe that you were violating the law, you might have grounds to ask the court to suppress the evidence against you on constitutional grounds of an unlawful vehicle stop.
In addition, law enforcement officers have guidelines to follow when they investigate drunk driving offenses. If they don’t administer tests properly, the jury may not convict you of drunk driving. We can help you evaluate your case to see if you have viable defenses that warrant taking your case to trial.
Ultimately, it’s up to you whether to take your case to trial. We help you weigh the pros and cons based on our experience, so that you can make the right choice for you. Depending on the specifics of your case, the state’s attorney might be willing to offer you a plea bargain. Sometimes, these plea bargains reduce or completely eliminate a license suspension. In other cases, they make it unlikely that you’ll spend time in jail.
Knowing what to expect
When we work with clients, we help them understand what to expect at each stage of the case. Whether you’re appearing at your arraignment, a motion hearing or trial, we want you to be confident in what’s going to happen and what you might need to say or do. Ultimately, learning about the possible outcomes can empower you to make the best possible choices for your future.