When you are arrested for a DUI, it can feel like a hopeless situation. After all, even if you are sure you were driving safely, it seems difficult to fight the charges when you blew over the limit—even just barely. Luckily, your BAC isn’t the be-all and end-all for a DUI arrest. There are other elements at play. Even if you think the evidence is against you, your Cincinnati DUI lawyer may find problems in the police procedure, the evidence itself, or other extenuating circumstances that can get your name cleared—or at least get you a plea deal with lesser charges or a minimized punishment.
So when should a DUI go to trial—and when is it better to simply take a plea deal? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. Your Ohio DUI lawyer will be best prepared to give you an honest and objective assessment of whether or not your case should go to trial. Most DUI cases don’t get a trial, but that doesn’t mean that is is a bad idea in your case, nor does it necessarily mean that your best chance is inside the courtroom.
Three Reasons to Consider Going to Trial for Your DUI
While every DUI case must be assessed individually on its merits, there are three clear cases where it may be worth going to trial for your DUI case.
- You were only barely above the legal limit. If you blow a .08 or a .09, there are many reasons other than actual intoxication or impairment that you may be over the limit. For example, it’s possible that the equipment used to assess your BAC was faulty. Maybe an expert witness can dispute the likelihood you were actually impaired at that time. If you were only barely above the legal limit, you may have evidence to present that rebuts the officer’s assessment that you were guilty of a DUI.
- The BAC test was conducted improperly. Not all evidence is carefully collected. Sometimes machines are improperly calibrated. Sometimes samples are contaminated. I’ve even heard of BAC blood tests being taken after swabbing the area with alcohol disinfectant, making the results invalid. If your lawyer finds fault with the way your BAC test was conducted or other evidence was collected, this can be presented at trial, improving your chances of a not guilty verdict.
- The arresting officer had no probable cause to pull you over. Sometimes all evidence of your impairment was collected after an illegal stop. Without probable cause to pull you over, any evidence collected afterwards is “fruit of the poisonous tree” and can be suppressed. Since that evidence can’t be used in the trial, you are likely to be acquitted. The charges may even be dismissed entirely before you make it to court.
Of course, these aren’t the only reasons you may consider going to trial, and not all cases with these elements are better off going to court. The key to a successful defense in these cases really boils down to listening to the advice of your DUI attorney and developing a successful strategy together.
If you have been arrested for a DUI, call a Cincinnati DUI lawyer at Luftman, Heck, and Associates right away at (513) 338-1890 for a free consultation on your case. With years of experience fighting DUI cases in the courtroom and out, a Cincinnati DUI lawyer from our firm will know strategies that can win OVI cases in our local courts. You can feel confident that you have quality representation and the honest, experienced legal advice needed to make the best strategy decisions.