If a jury agrees that the arresting officer failed to follow NHTSA and SLED DUI breathalyzer procedures and finds me not guilty, can I get the state to pay my attorney fees? If found guilty, can I appeal and hire another attorney?
Being found not guilty is an insufficient basis for your legal fees to be compensated by the State. America is a jurisdiction where every party typically pays for the cost of their own attorneys. The cost of a trial is frequently very expensive for Defendants.
If you are found guilty, you have the right to appeal and may hire a different attorney. However, there's no guarantee you will win your appeal.
I agree with Mr. Dettman, it would be awesome, but you cannot sue the state for attorney fees just because you win. You can however, file a Federal Civil Rights case If your constitutional rights were violated by the police. If you win in the Federal Court case, you get prevailing party attorney fees. You can only sue the cops if they intentionally or recklessly violate you rights. Very complex area. I have on sued on several of these cases in the past. Mostly cases of police brutality. But, just is because you beat a drunk driving is not a basis for this kind of claim.
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