Fully and openly discuss all aspects of your case with your experienced DUI-DWI attorney
The prosecution of a typical DUI-DWI case involves hundreds of facts and potential legal issues. The cornerstone of a successful defense is a full and open discussion of each aspect of your case with your experienced DUI-DWI attorney. Minor factual changes or revelation of certain "statements" by police during their investigation of your case or your arrest can lead to a favorable outcome
What is a "legal defense"?
A legal defense is a general term for the effort of an attorney representing a defendant during trial and in pre-trial maneuvers to defeat the prosecution in a criminal case such as a DUI-DWI. In some cases, your attorney may identify a "complete defense" (a legal excuse) to the alleged DUI-DWI charges, called an affirmative defense, to counter, defeat or remove all or a part of the contentions of the State (the prosecution). In other cases, your highly qualified defense attorney will be looking for shortcomings in the police evidence that create a "failure of proof" on some aspect of the case
Does the prosecution have the evidence to prove each "element" of a DUI-DWI count?
The first of these general considerations is whether or not the prosecution has any evidence at all on all the requisite "elements" of each DUI-DWI count. (A count is a legal term for each separate crime the state has charged you with committing.) For example, if you have a single vehicle accident and you are only found later at your home drinking a beer, the prosecution may not be able to prove that you had been drinking before the accident occurred, which is a key "element" of the proof required for a DUI-DWI charge
Example: In a DUI-DWI they must prove YOU were driving your car. If they can't, then you have a viable defense.
It does not matter if you were wildly intoxicated last Thursday evening when a vehicle fitting your car's description was seen driving erratically, if you can't be placed behind the wheel. If you were sitting at home, and never even got in any motor vehicle that night, you may have a good defense to the traffic offenses. If somehow the police charged you with DUI-DWI (based upon a Be On the Look Out or BOLO call of a partial tag number) and the police lack proof that you were outside of your home at the time of the alleged driving, it is highly likely the DUI-DWI charges against you will be dropped
Did the police break the "rules"? Did they violate the Constitution, state laws, or regulations when they arrested you?
Another consideration is whether or not during your arrest the police violated any state statutes, constitutional provisions, regulations or other legal authority (such as decisional law from an appellate court that has ruled on the same evidentiary issue). If they did, was the violation of such a type or "degree" that it will offend the notion of fair play and justice from the point of view of the trial court? An example of this would be if you are a minority, and the police were simply stopping every person of your race, and only these drivers, as they passed through a small town. Another example of illegal police conduct would be a roadblock that is illegally set up without supervisory authority, as required by state law
Is there an "affirmative defense" or "legal justification" for your otherwise unlawful conduct?
Although very few DUI-DWI cases involve an "affirmative defense" or "legal justification," your attorney may be able to defend certain cases on this basis. The affirmative defense of "necessity" could be one such answer to criminal charges. For example, if you had consumed six beers while sitting at home but your wife cut her hand in the kitchen, severing an artery, you might have to drive her to a hospital for emergency care if the bleeding was excessive and an ambulance was twenty minutes away. Such an "affirmative defense" is not an absolute bar to prosecution, but it can be asserted as a complete defense to the crime of drunk driving in most states, if the circumstances of the emergency are found to have justified the driving with an unlawful blood alcohol content in your system.
Again, give your attorney ALL the facts so that he or she can uncover potential defenses, strategies and legal challenges in your case.
The more complete your knowledge of these issues and legal matters, the more helpful you can be to your attorney in fighting for your legal rights in your DUI-DWI case. You need to give your attorney ALL the facts so that he or she can uncover potential defenses, strategies and legal challenges in your case.