How Expensive Is It For A DUI Case To Go To Trial?
DUI trials are expensive. You have at least one or two days in court and you have a lot of preparation time to get ready for a trial. Sometimes, you have the cost of an expert witness, if you need it. So it can be in the thousands of dollars for the cost of the trial. If you really want to do it and do it right. But like you mentioned, you have to weigh that with the risk of having a conviction. If you have some pretty good defenses and good explanations and you have a strong case, then it is worth it to spend the money to go to trial because the long term ramifications of a DUI conviction; the jail time, the possible loss of the license, can far outweigh the cost of the trial. There are statistics out there and analysis of the costs of a DUI and a DUI conviction. When you are talking rental cars and increased insurance, lost job opportunities, The cost can range anywhere up to $200,000, the possible long term ramifications of a DUI conviction. So if you can spend $5,000 to $10,000 on a trial for a DUI and get an acquittal, if you have some strong defenses, then it is well worth proceeding this way.
Important Things People Should Know Prior To Going To Trial In A DUI Case
One of the most important things that I tell my clients is the trial process, one is, they are giving control of the outcome of the case to someone else. If they are going to trial, they are letting a judge or a jury determine the outcome of the case versus they are making the decision on a plea deal. And I think the second most important thing that I try to explain to them is the jury itself. They are given instructions to follow the law and weigh the evidence and to not make a decision until they have heard all of the evidence and there are a lot of things that go on in that jury room. But ultimately, you just never know and it is tough for members of juries, because in a small group like that, you have someone who is going to emerge as a leader.
Sometimes that leader will tend to sway the others, a kind of pack mentality. Whereas if you have a jury of eight or more people, you might have two pack leaders. You might have a pack leader for not guilty and you might have a pack leader for guilty. It would be tougher to get the whole jury to go guilty if you have a pack leader that is arguing for not guilty. Whereas if there are just four people and you have a pack leader of guilty, then the odds are greater, that there could be more guilty verdicts. It is just tougher.
I am saying that with the four member jury, I believe the jury trials are tougher just because there are fewer people that have to make a decision, and in the smaller groups, people might be easier to sway one way or the other. I guess the vital thing would be is even though the jury was instructed to follow the law and not make a decision until they have heard everything, sometimes that they might not do that. They might have a certain feeling or a certain bias about maybe the way you look or if you did not testify, they might hold that against you and so it can be a big risk. So they need to know those things.
Is There A Difference Between Defending A Client And Representing A Client?
Sometimes there should not be, but sometimes there is a distinction. When you are talking about representing, the attorney is there for them, the attorney might be dealing the very minimum, making sure just a brief overlook of the facts and moving on and looking for the best possible plea deal, or there is zealously advocating for your client where you do not leave any stone unturned so to speak. Even where you are not just taking a cursory look at the police report, you are going further, you are investigating the officer and you are looking at the blood test results.
You are pulling information from the lab and the lab analyst and going over their training and qualifications; or the breath test machine. You are not just relying on the test result; you are pulling the maintenance certificates and the calibration records and seeing if there have been any problems with the machine. There is a difference there. Most DUI attorneys, they understand and they understand that to get a good outcome, they have to zealously advocate, they have to go and dig deeper into the case than just being there to represent someone.
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