One of the most important things your Grand Rapids DUI attorney will explain to you about your case is how the trial will work. It is very important that you understand what will take place so that you can easily move through the process.
Use of Expert Witnesses
In almost every Driving Under the Influence (DUI) trial, the prosecution will call in an expert witness. An expert witness is someone who has specific knowledge about a subject matter that is more entailed than what the general public would know. While police officers may be experts in giving a roadside DUI test, they cannot be considered experts in determining how the test works or why it registers at 0.8 or higher. Additionally, if the DUI involves drugs of any kind, the police cannot testify as experts in determining drug results. The prosecution, however, may bring in an expert witness that can interpret the results or explain how and why the test works. If this is the case, your Grand Rapids DUI attorney may need to have their own expert witness on hand to counteract the testimony. Expert witnesses can be very helpful in winning a DUI case. It should be noted however, these expert witnesses can cost around $1,000.00, and if the case is complicated, the fees can go much higher.
In any type of trial, an observer witness is only helpful to the defense if they can convince the jury of your innocence. In a DUI trial, many people who are accused believe that if they bring in friends, family, or co-workers to testify on their behalf that the jury will believe the DUI charges were wrong. Your family, friends, and co-workers can be the most honest people in the entire world, but their personal connection to you makes them a very poor choice of witnesses unless they were present at the scene of the DUI arrest. The jury will think that their testimony is based on their relationship to you and not entirely on the situation. The best observer witness is someone who is not personally affiliated with you and witnessed the event. Since this is nearly impossible in a DUI case, your Grand Rapids DUI attorney will most likely concentrate on cross examining any witnesses that the prosecution brings instead of looking for observer witnesses on your behalf.
Motions to Strike a Prior
If a person admits or pleads guilty to a second or third DUI, their penalties will be very severe in comparison to a first time offender. To get the stronger penalties, the prosecution must “charge” these prior convictions against you in the current trial. Because of this technicality, it is important to deny any prior charges against you when you plead “not guilty” to the current charges. Denying prior charges is not illegal, it is a simple technicality. By denying any previous charges, you are giving your attorney the ability to have any prior charges stricken from the evidence based on various legal technicalities. This is very important if you are facing a second or third conviction. This is a very complicated process and should only be handled by your Grand Rapids DUI attorney to ensure that all legal procedures are followed correctly.
Motions to Suppress Evidence
There are several reasons that evidence gathered against you may not have been done so legally. For example, if the police officer did not have probable cause to stop you and make you submit to the sobriety test, the arrest may have been illegal. Additionally, if you only agreed to a sobriety test after being harmed or threatened, the evidence that the police gathered is tainted and should not be used against you. Since this is a very difficult subject matter and requires a special hearing and cross examination of the arresting officers, it is very important that you allow your Grand Rapids DUI attorney to handle this subject matter. If the evidence that is being used against you is found to be tainted, the case may have to be dismissed because there will be no true evidence that you were operating a vehicle under the influence.
When it comes to a DUI arrest, the person being charged with the crime is usually the only witness to the events and the only person who can counteract the police testimony. This can be a very slippery slope for those facing conviction. While the accused has the right to take the witness stand on their own behalf, in most cases it is not very advisable. Your testimony will be scrutinized by the jury, and any little slip up, wrong inflection of your voice, or wrong answer can doom your case. The prosecution will also take advantage of you being on the stand and twist their questions around in such a manner to try to get you to self-incriminate. Unless your lawyer advises you to take the stand, it is your best choice to allow the DUI attorney to aggressively represent you before the Court and jury without giving a testimony.
Contact a Grand Rapids DUI Attorney Today
If you are facing a DUI conviction, you are facing many hardships. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you could face jail time, heavy penalties, loss of your driving privileges, and possibly be required to complete community service or attend a rehab program. If this is a second or third conviction, you are facing even stiffer penalties. The Law Office of Miel & Carr PLC understands how important it is to have aggressive legal representation when facing a DUI charge. Call our Law Office to contact a Grand Rapids DUI attorney today at (616) 773-2945. They have dedicated attorneys that are prepared to review your case and work diligently to get you the best outcome to the charges. Anyone that is facing a DUI conviction is encouraged to contact the Law Office of Miel & Carr PLC at 616.773.2945 and have their case immediately reviewed. You do have the right to represent yourself in Court for a DUI charge. However, you will find that aggressive legal representation by a Grand Rapids DUI attorney will greatly help your case.