How to Handle and Beat DUI Cases

To handle DUI cases well, attorneys should have fast interactions with the DMV to protect their clients’ rights protecting evidence and courtroom dynamics for strategic negotiation. A successful defense also includes the creation of records to reduce penalties, consistent communication with customers, and readiness for negotiation or proceeding to the trial while demonstrating sympathy and perseverance.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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Have a quick question? I answered nearly 1500 FAQs.

Introduction to Managing DUI Cases

Private investigators and California personal injury attorneys face several challenges when dealing with DUI cases. These cases are complicated due to the fact that they involve DMV in addition to the criminal court. Further, DUI cases include scientific elements of testing chemical and blood samples. Use these steps to successfully deal with the above discussed complexities for the sake of advocating your client.

1. Acting Quick with the DMV in Order to Maintain the Client’s Driving Privileges

A. Notify the DMV within the 10-day window: When a client has a DUI charge, they are given an interim license from the DMV. This document includes relevant details, including the contact information for the DMV APS and what is required by the DMV to suspend a license. It also refers to an important 10-day deadline. In order to safeguard your client’s driver’s license and arrange a hearing on driving suspension, it is necessary to send the DMV a letter of representation within ten days after the incident.

B. Identify the correct DMV location: In places with more than one DMV APS office, you must confirm the accurate address to make sure your fax message is sent to the right place. Apply for a “stay” of the suspension of your client’s license and ask the DMV to submit all relevant evidence prior to hearing.

C. Deal with late discovery: If the discovery materials are received after the due date, then request a continuance to examine the evidence without imperiling your client’s ability to drive.

2. Review the evidence provided by DMV and seek more information.

A. Analyze initial DMV discovery: When you represent a DUI client, you will first receive the initial discovery materials from the DMV for APS’s hearing. In most cases, this bundle contains the officer’s sworn statement, a copy of the client’s driving record as well as test results. Other unsworn documents may also be attached. In order to comprehend the DMV case, carefully read these materials.

B. Request additional evidence: While analyzing the original discovery, outline any further subpoenas that can be obtained. It may include calibration and usage records for breathalyzers or the full blood card for cases involving blood tests. Other valuable sources can be audio or video clips, dashcam records as well as DUI officer training-related documents.

C. Subpoena the arresting officer: Subpoena the arresting officer for the DMV hearing in case of inconsistencies between report and secondary data. In certain instances, it may be useful to employ a forensic toxicologist as an expert witness. Reveal the testimony of all witnesses beforehand in order to allow the DMV to prepare for cross-examination.

3. Strategically Handle the DMV Hearing

A. Conduct the hearing: The DMV hearing is when you get to challenge the evidence against your client. The hearing will go ahead unless there is a legitimate cause for postponing it. Your client’s potential consequences from the hearing type will depend on it.

B. Address specific issues: During the hearing, a DMV officer will identify detailed points that must be proved for suspension. All these require to be addressed in your defense. If the DMV overturns your objections it will, however, be recorded for subsequent appeals.

C. Leverage the hearing for court preparation: A DMV hearing can offer insight into the prosecution strategy. This is an opportunity to question the arresting officer and get information that will be used in court. Transcribe the entire recording from hearing for use in court.

4. Arraignment and Case Status Follow-up in Diligence

A. Manage arraignment dates: The arraignment date marked on the citation is tentative. Verify with the prosecution agencies and court whether or not the case has been filed.

B. Address unfiled cases: While remaining unfiled, attend court for proof of appearance. However, filing problems can arise; hence, access to proof of attendance is crucial. In case of an unfiled motion, consider a motion to dismiss.

C. Regularly monitor the case: It is advisable to periodically monitor the court and prosecuting agencies so as not to miss any updates. Not attending an arraignment may result in a warrant for arrest issued.

5. Construct a Strong Mitigation Packet

A. Assess client background: Get to know the unique situation of your client: citizenship, license and others factors likely affecting a DUI conviction. Provide this information in a mitigation packet for the prosecutor to consider.

B. Include additional elements: For clients with negative aspects, suggest reactive measures such as participation in Alcoholics Anonymous. It is also possible to include community letters, volunteer records, academic transcripts and professional awards in the mitigation packet. Form a logical package with the stated counteroffer demand.

6. Navigate Courthouse Dynamics

A. Understand local standards: Each courthouse manages its own standards and the common tendencies for DUI cases. It would be easier to determine the reasonableness of an offer by your client if he knew what is a standard one.

B. Learn judge and prosecutor tendencies: Discover patterns in judge behavior and monitor prosecutor turnover. This knowledge is helpful for strategic bargaining.

7. Effective Negotiation for Fair Offers

A. Present the mitigation packet: State the offer and present it to the prosecutor or judge, in a mitigation packet.

B. Pursue further negotiations: In the case of failure in initial discussions, try to consult higher-level supervisors. Frequency of negotiations is a crucial factor in obtaining suitable outcomes.

8. Finalize the Client’s Case: Plea or Trial

A. Assess negotiated outcomes: Evaluate the negotiated offer in detail with your client, addressing the positives and negatives of their case. Ensure they understand the implications.

B. Prepare for trial: If the result is unsatisfactory and the client refuses an offer, prepare for a trial. Use DMV hearing statements and thoroughly prepare for prosecution strategies.

Conclusion: Emphasizing on empathy and persistence in DUI defense

DUI cases can only be dealt with successfully if passion, empathy, and persistence are embraced. The ability to navigate the legal complexities and evidence-based court relationships is an integral part of effective representation. Start with understanding the client’s circumstances and intent to ambush on their behalf. By implementing these procedures and pursuing a dedication towards your clients, you can overcome the challenges of DUI cases and strive for the most favorable ending.

Have a quick question? We answered nearly 2000 FAQs.

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