Drivers facing DUI / DWI charges always ask the question, ‘Why should I fight my DUI charge?’ Many drivers are daunted by the evidence against them – field sobriety tests, chemical tests, and testimony by the arresting officer. Many believe that a conviction is inevitable. However, there are many good reasons to fight a charge of driving while intoxicated.
Here’s the best reason to fight – drivers who contest the charges with an experienced drunk driving attorney at their side have a good chance of minimizing or even eliminating the consequences of a driving under the influence arrest. However, drivers who plead guilty to DUI / DWI have a 100 percent chance of being convicted.
Drivers charged with DUI / DWI are entitled to a jury trial in most states. In every state, the driver is presumed innocent of the charges unless proven guilty. If a prosecutor can’t convince a jury or judge of a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the motorist cannot be convicted of drinking and driving.
All jury trials end in one of three outcomes: Either all jurors agree on the defendant’s guilt, or all agree on the defendant’s innocence, or they cannot reach a unanimous verdict. If the jury cannot agree unanimously on a verdict, the trial ends in a hung jury. That’s an extremely favorable outcome for the defendant in a driving under the influence case, because the prosecutor will likely choose not to refile the charges.
In order to successfully fight a DUI / DWI charge, only one juror must be convinced that the driver is not guilty. Just one juror. Although the prospect of facing a jury can seem daunting, the alternative is to plead guilty and hope for mercy from a court system that has no mercy.
Drivers facing a first-time DUI / DWI case have one more reason to fight the charges. Every individual arrested on a first-offense drunk driving offense swears that it will never happen again. Every driver charged with a second-offense DUI / DWI who pleaded guilty to the first offense wishes he or she had fought that first charge.
Many states have a “washout” or “lookback” period for drinking and driving convictions, meaning that if the driver is arrested for a second DUI / DWI within the washout or lookback period, the most recent case will be charged as a second offense. If a second arrest occurs beyond the lookback period, the second arrest is simply another first-time driving under the influence charge.
A second-time driving under the influence conviction carries much harsher consequences than a first offense. Drivers who plead guilty to a first-offense DUI and are arrested for drunk driving a second time always regret their decision not to fight that first offense.
The prospect of being placed on probation for three to five years is another reason not to plead guilty to a driving under the influence charge. Drivers on probation face strict conditions, including attendance at DUI classes. In addition, motorists on probation for DUI / DWI typically cannot drive with any measurable blood alcohol content (BAC).
This requirement is especially problematic if the driver is arrested for a second DUI / DWI while still on probation from the first. Drivers accused of violating the terms of their probation will face a judge, not a jury. And the judge must be convinced only by a preponderance of the evidence, not beyond a reasonable doubt. The bottom line is that getting arrested for drunk driving while on probation for a first offense is no joke.
There’s one final reason why drivers should fight DUI / DWI charges, and that’s because they have the absolute constitutional right to do so. Why raise the white flag before the battle begins? Anyone accused of drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) should consult with an experienced attorney from www.NotDrunk.com who concentrates on drunk driving defense.