Clearly, the best way to beat a DUI is to avoid receiving one in the first place. However, since this is not always the situation, a DUI is not necessarily the end of the world. If you happen to find yourself in precisely this situation, then here are some tips to help you possibly avoid conviction.
First, find out what you are up against. Immediately after your arrest, send a letter via certified USPS mail to the arresting officer. Make sure a signature is required upon receipt, and hold on to the signed stub you receive after the delivery. In the letter, request copies of both sides of the officer’s copy of the citation. Also copies of any audio or video recording of the incident, and any other notes he may have taken during the arrest.
If the officer fails to respond, bring a copy of the letter you sent, along with a copy of the receipt stub, with you to court. Relate to the judge that request for the documents was made to, and received by, the officer, but no response was given. If this is the situation, your case will likely be dismissed.
In the event that the officer does meet your request, and provides the appropriate documents, analyze these materials for any inconsistencies. If the officer reported slurred speech, check the audio for indication of this. If the audio recording indicated speech was not slurred, this evidence will be dropped and the officer’s credibility will also be brought into question. If the officer indicates the initial stop was made due to swerving, check the dash cam video to make sure you were, in fact, crossing lane lines, as swerving within the lanes is not indicative of intoxicated driving. Also seek to find any witnesses who may be able to give testimony to the event and work to gather as much additional evidence as possible.
Finally, contact a lawyer who specializes in DUI defense. You may be worried about the costs of retaining an attorney, and while the costs may be high, they are significantly less than those resulting from a DUI conviction. The average attorney can cost between $1,000 and $3,500 to handle the entire case from start to finish—and often as little as $500 for simply one day in court. A DUI conviction can typically results in initial fines upwards of $5,000. Furthermore, you are often required to attend court ordered classes for 6-24 months after the conviction, the cost of which is your responsibility. There are also further fees regarding the reinstatement of your drivers license, and insurance costs can often triple after a DUI conviction.
Fighting a DUI can be an ordeal, but if you follow some basic steps, you can greatly increase your chances of beating a conviction. A good DUI attorney can easily be found with a little extra effort, and the reward will be peace of mind, and possibly a dropped conviction. Help is out there, all you have to do is ask.
Wayne Milton is a law enthusiast who eagerly follows various branches of law. He enjoys blogging and sharing his thoughts and experiences on everything from family, labor, accident, and mortgage lawyers.