“Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” – Winston Churchill
As an experienced New York DUI / DWI lawyer, clients often ask me why they should bother fighting their drunk driving case. When a client comes in for a free consultation, I first gather the facts regarding the arrest, the basis of the traffic stop, and the results of any sobriety coordination tests or chemical tests they submitted to. At this point, clients usually ask, “Why should I fight this?” Let’s look at some of the reasons why you need an experienced DUI / DWI lawyer on your side.
The first thing to know is that if you plead guilty to drunk driving, you will be convicted of drunk driving. Drunk driving is a serious charge. Very often it results in a permanent criminal conviction that stays on your record for the rest of your life.
But, if you don’t plead guilty, you are presumed innocent and you are also entitled—in the state of New York—to a jury trial if you are charged with DWI. This means that for a misdemeanor case, 6 jurors must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt of your guilt in order to convict you.
What are the possible results of a jury trial? All 6 jurors can agree that the defendant is guilt y, all 6 jurors can agree that the defendant is innocent, or, some jurors can vote guilty and some can vote not guilty. In the third scenario, you have what is called a “hung jury,” and a good possibility that your case can be dismissed. That means you will walk away.
So what’s the bottom line here? If you can convince only one of the 6 jurors to vote not guilty, you may win the case. Doesn’t that sound a lot better than relying on the mercy of the judge and the prosecutor?
Another reason to fight your case is that pleading guilty to first misdemeanor offense may lead to a three year probation sentence. Probation can completely deny you the right to drive during that three year period or require that you have an ignition interlock device during that entire period. You may also be required to pay fines and attend DUI classes during probation, or meet other requirements. In addition, keep in mind that a drunk driving conviction will result in a significant increase in your auto insurance, a loss of your driving privileges, restrictions on travel outside the United States, create problems renting and leasing cars, and have other negative effects as well.
Luckily, you do have the right to fight your DUI case. Please contact us to find out how.
You won’t know what is possible until you do.