It is not a good idea to handle a DUI case in Sarasota without proper legal representation. When selecting an attorney, the offender must look for one who will handle their case professionally and honestly. The attorney will not only tell the offender what penalties they could face, but they will also discuss how they will work with them to have charges dismissed or reduced. Remember that hiring an attorney does not guarantee the offender will receive the outcome they expect. Hiring an attorney will, however, ensure that all the offender's rights are met and that the case is handled lawfully.
The first step in the process is the case management conference. Offenders are not required to attend this conference, which is handled in Sarasota court by the DUI defense attorney. The case management conference typically occurs between four and six weeks following the initial arrest.
What Occurs During the Case Management Conference?
After the first thirty days have elapsed, a case management conference occurs where the judge asks the defense and prosecution the following:
- Have the parties reached a plea agreement?
- Has the defense received all of the disclosure from the prosecution?
- Will the defense need more time to conduct interviews or analyze the disclosure?
- Does either party wish to schedule an evidentiary hearing?
- Does this matter need a trial date scheduled?
If the defense needs more time to conduct interviews and analyze the disclosure, then a second case management conference is scheduled for thirty days following the first conference. During the second case management conference, the same questions are asked to the defense and prosecution.
What Does the Offender Need to Do With Their Attorney Next?
If the defense requests an evidentiary hearing, then the offender begins working diligently with the attorney. Because this hearing is when challenges of charges occur, it is important that everything involved with the offender's arrest is discussed in detail. Here are some examples of why an evidentiary hearing can be requested:
- The law enforcement official did not have probable cause during the traffic stop.
- The arrest was conducted improperly or unlawfully.
- The offender's rights were not read to them.
- There was a violation in ensuring the offender had a right to counsel.
- Fourth Amendment rights were violated.
- Other errors were made by law enforcement or testing officials.
The offender will work with their attorney to gather evidence to support any violations they believe have occurred during their arrest. This evidence includes witness testimony, dashboard camera recordings, and police reports.
How Will the Attorney Continue Working on the Offender's Behalf?
The attorney will continue working with the offender in order to have their case dismissed or have the charges reduced to reckless driving or another offense. If they are unable to achieve those goals, the work does not stop there. The attorney will continue working on the defender's behalf by trying to get their license reinstated, helping them avoid jail time, and trying to reduce fines. In addition to that, they will work toward seeing their clients go to DUI School, complete community service, or serve probation rather than go to jail. Because each DUI case is unique, it's difficult for a defense attorney to predict the outcome for their client. They will, however, answer every question they have to the best of their ability.