If you get charged with driving under the influence and decide to go to trial, the prosecution has to prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Otherwise, the jury is supposed to acquit you. This article gives an overview of what the prosecution needs prove to get a DUI conviction.
If you get arrested for a DUI, you're generally better off if you're represented in court by an attorney. Read about the differences between public defenders, private DUI attorneys, and representing yourself.
When you plea guilty or no contest to a DUI charge, the judge will find you guilty and the court clerk will enter a conviction. This conviction is exactly the same as a conviction resulting from a guilty verdict at trial. Generally, DUIs are misdemeanor criminal offenses. But if the offender has multiple prior DUI convictions or the current offense involves aggravating factors like deaths or injuries, a DUI can be a felony.
It was only 10 years after mass production of automobiles began in the U.S. that the first drunk-driving law was passed in New York in 1910. Soon California followed as did many other states. These early laws didn’t define the level of intoxication.
A police report is written record of your arrest and the surrounding evidence. It’s prepared by the police officer usually right after you’ve been arrested for a DUI. This record is shared by the officer with the prosecutors and court and usually will be made available to your or your attorney at your first court hearing.
If you’re going to fight your driving offense or DUI, does it really matter whether it is argued in front of a judge or a jury? Defense lawyers will nearly always say that a jury trial is better for a defendant. There some truth to this principle but – like everything else involving law and lawyers – it’s complicated.
How substance abuse evaluations factor into DUI cases, including who must be evaluated, how much evaluations cost, and what kinds of programs and treatment might be required subsequent to an evaluation.
An impairment DUI is based on you being "under the influence" or "impaired" by drugs or alcohol. Read about how you might fight an impairment DUI charge by providing explanations for why you appeared to be intoxicated but actually were not.
Prosecutors use blood- and breath-test results to prove per se DUI charges. Read about how you might defend against a DUI per se charged by excluding or casting doubt on a blood or breath-test results.
Considering that “impaired drivers” cause one-third of the traffic fatalities (over 12,000 a year), and also considering the fact that alcohol related crime is estuimated to cost over $200 billion a year, it’s a wonder that states have not criminalized the act of serving alcohol to inebriated patrons. Actually, they have.