If you got caught driving drunk in Essex County, this does not necessarily mean that you will be found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI) in court. There are several ways to defend against a DUI charge—including ways you can fight your case even if you were drunk behind the wheel. Here, Essex County DUI lawyer Scott Gorman explains how to handle your case if you got caught driving drunk:
1. Do Not Assume You Will Be Found Guilty
While there are lots of mistakes you need to avoid any time you are facing a DUI in Essex County, one of the biggest mistakes you need to avoid is assuming that you will be found guilty. If you were driving drunk, being found guilty is absolutely a possibility—but there are no guarantees on either side. Prosecutors must be able to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and if they can’t, you are entitled to a “not guilty” verdict regardless of whether you were drunk behind the wheel.
As a result, if you got caught driving drunk, you should not simply ignore your DUI case. Ignoring your case is the one circumstance in which you can assume that you will be found guilty in court. You owe it to yourself to fight your case regardless of the facts at hand, and by hiring an Essex County DUI lawyer to fight for you, you can give yourself the best chance of avoiding unnecessary consequences.
2. Work With Your Lawyer to Examine the Facts of Your Case
Once you hire a lawyer, you will want to work closely with your lawyer to examine the facts of your case. When fighting a DUI charge in New Jersey, all of the facts matter—not just the fact that you were driving drunk. For example, depending on the facts of your case, your lawyer may be able to assert defenses such as:
- Unlawful Traffic Stop – If the police stopped you for an invalid reason (i.e., if they racially profiled you), then all of the prosecution’s evidence obtained during your stop may be inadmissible in court under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
- Invalid Breath Test Results – If you took the breath test and blew above the legal limit, your Essex County DUI lawyer may be able to challenge your test results on various grounds. These include failure to calibrate the testing device and improper administration of the test, among others.
- Invalid Field Sobriety Test Results – If you “failed” any of the field sobriety tests, your lawyer may be able to challenge your test results by questioning the arresting officer’s instructions, testing procedures, observation of your performance or interpretation of your performance.
These are just examples. The more facts you can recall about your DUI stop, the better. With this in mind, it is a good idea to sit down and spend 10 to 15 minutes thinking through your DUI stop and taking notes before your free initial consultation.
3. Work With Your Lawyer to Examine Your Options
Once your lawyer knows all of the facts of your DUI case, your lawyer will be able to assess your options. At this stage, it will be important to examine your options carefully. The choices you make from this point forward could impact your life for years to come, so you need to know that you are choosing the best option based on the circumstances presented.
The options you have available will depend on the facts of your case (including, but not limited to, the fact that you were driving drunk). With this in mind, some potential options include:
- Seeking a Reduction to a “Wet Reckless” – While plea bargaining isn’t an option in New Jersey DUI cases, your Essex County DUI lawyer may still be able to convince the prosecution to reduce your charge to a “wet reckless” based on the facts at hand. This is basically a reckless driving charge that involves alcohol. The consequences of a wet reckless conviction are far less severe than those of having a DUI on your permanent record.
- Seeking a Reduced DUI Sentence – If a reduction to a wet reckless isn’t an option, your lawyer may still be able to convince the prosecution to recommend a reduced sentence for your DUI. DUI charges carry a wide range of penalties in New Jersey, so this approach can still reduce the consequences of your arrest significantly.
- Fighting Your DUI Charge Based on the Facts of Your Arrest – If the police stopped you illegally, if they made mistakes during your DUI stop, or if there are any other issues with the government’s case, your lawyer may be able to fight your DUI by keeping the government’s evidence out of court. Without evidence, prosecutors won’t be able to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Here too, these are just some of the main options. When you hire an Essex County DUI lawyer to handle your case, your lawyer will help you examine all of your options so that you can choose the best path forward.
4. Give Yourself the Best Chance of Success
Finally, while your DUI case is pending, you need to give yourself the best chance of securing a positive outcome. This is especially true if you were clearly drunk behind the wheel. While this means hiring an experienced Essex County DUI lawyer to represent you, it also means avoiding mistakes like getting arrested again and relying on “defenses” that don’t actually protect you.
Discuss Your Case with Essex County DUI Lawyer Scott Gorman
Are you facing a DUI charge in Essex County, and were you clearly drunk at the time of your traffic stop? If so, you need experienced legal representation. Essex County DUI lawyer Scott Gorman has more than 15 years of experience, and he can help you fight your case by all means available. Call 862-250-6201 or contact us online now to arrange a free and confidential consultation.
Published in Categories: DUI / DWI