5 Common DUI Misconceptions
One of the most common misconceptions of those arrested for DUI is that they are guilty. But an arrest is only the beginning of the criminal justice process.
By law you have the right to defend your charges and hire an attorney to represent you. In most cases you have the right to take your case to trial if the charges cannot be resolved. So you will not be convicted unless a jury finds you guilty, or you voluntarily enter a plea agreement or other alternative pre-trial program.
Below are some additional misconceptions that those often occur after individuals have been charged with DUI:
- Misconception: “It’s easier or cheaper to plead guilty without representation”
Fact: This is not the case. Pleading guilty even to a first time DUI charge can have serious, far-reaching consequences that will affect all areas of your life. Even first offenders who have been convicted of non-extreme misdemeanor DUI will be exposed to fines, fees and assessments of up to $1500.00. Criminal penalties also call for 10 days jail terms. The court will suspend all but one day of jail with successful completion of an alcohol screening and education program. A conviction can have adverse impacts on your job, ability to obtain employment or keep your job, driver’s licenses, occupational license, credit, scholarships, residency, and driver’s license. These costs can far outweigh those of getting affordable, effective legal representation.
- Misconception: “Similar cases will have the same outcomes”
Fact: Every DUI case is different and possesses unique circumstances, including the evidence. The defense strategy should be uniquely tailored to each one individually. This means that even in the case of common defenses, one or more many not apply in every case. Further, DUI laws and rulings can change DUI outcomes can differ substantially. The attorney you hire can also have a significant impact on the resolution. For example, a DUI defense attorney with experience, strong negotiation and litigation skills, is likely to help you get a favorable resolution.
- Misconception: “The attorney I consult should be able to tell me how my case will be resolved.”
Fact: No attorney can tell you with any certainty the outcome of your case in your initial consultation. Your criminal defense attorney will need to review the facts, evidence, and circumstances surrounding your charges. Even then, going through the criminal justice system is a process. In most cases you have the right to take your case to trial. Juries and outcomes can be unpredictable with regard to the outcome. Approximately 98% of criminal cases are resolved before trial in a number of different ways. The pretrial outcomes are substantially based on the weight of evidence; aggravated or mitigating factors; first time offense or repeat offense; and prior convictions.
- Misconception: “There’s no hope for a good outcome for my Super Extreme DUI charges.”
Fact: Impaired driving charges are multi-facet in nature. Defenses may apply on a number of fronts. For example if the police did not have reasonable suspicion for the stop, or probable cause to draw blood for a DUI blood test hen your rights were violated. When this occurs, your attorney can file a motion to prohibit the DUI blood test results from being used against you. This often results in a dismissal of the impaired driving charges.
- Misconception: “Any type of attorney, in any state can handle my case.”
Fact: Impaired driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a criminal matter. You will want to make sure you hire a criminal defense attorney rather than an attorney whose focus is civil law. With ongoing changes in legislative and case laws, it is often difficult for a sole practitioner who practices in a different legal area, to practice in criminal law as well. Also, DUI charges and penalties may differ by state. Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country. It is important to retain a criminal defense attorney who practices in the state and jurisdiction where you received the charges.
Without effective legal representation for your DUI, you do run the risk of getting a swift and harsh conviction. When you obtain legal representation from an experienced DUI defense attorney like James Novak, you improve your chances of getting obtaining a favorable resolution for your charges. If retained, DUI Attorney, James Novak will protect your rights defend your charges and work hard to resolve your case.
James Novak is an experienced DUI defense lawyer, and former prosecutor. By retaining The Law Office of James Novak, you can balance the scales of justice and increase your chances of getting a favorable outcome for your charges. Some favorable outcomes include getting the charges fully or partially dismissed; having the charges reclassified to civil charges or lower classification; avoidance of jail terms; waiver or reduction of fines; or reduction of penalties.
James Novak offers a free initial consultation for new and active charges in his service area. James Novak defends clients who have been arrested in Mesa, Tempe or other Phoenix – East valley city in Maricopa County. To learn more about the benefits of obtaining strong legal representation and find out how Attorney James Novak can help you resolve your charges call (480) - 413 -1499. You can also complete our on-line contact form to discuss your charges and options for defense directly with DUI Attorney James Novak of The Law Office of James Novak.