How Commonly Do People Believe They Will Have To Plead Guilty To DUI Charges?
It’s probably close to 100%. In most DUI stops it’s late at night, there are no witnesses, and with the exception of the state police there’s no video or audio.
What Are The Top Misconceptions That People Have About DUI Arrests Or Charges In Pennsylvania?
They just assume that all is lost. DUI cases are difficult but not impossible to defend. I would start with the basics. What are the circumstances surrounding the encounter with the police? Are there Fourth Amendment challenges that can be made? Where did the encounter occur? What about other factors such as weather, traffic flow, or potential witnesses? Did the police follow acceptable procedures? After finding out the answers to these questions we would start to get more specific.
At What Point In A DUI Case Is A Defense Attorney Generally Hired?
I normally get involved after a client has been arrested but before the person has their first hearing or court date. You should always get an attorney involved as early as possible. I would advise a client to remain silent and refrain from making any admissions that could come back to haunt them at trial.
What Important Information Should I Share With My DUI Defense Attorney?
Your defense attorney will want the names of witnesses, the time of day when these things allegedly occurred, the location, the type of area where the encounter occurred including whether it is a flat or well-lit area, the weather conditions, the road conditions, what type of field sobriety testing was done, and whether the client believes they passed the field sobriety testing. The police will often say you failed even when you say you passed. Was this a traffic stop? Was it as a result of an accident? Where was the person coming from or going to? Those are the basic questions for preparing your defense.
Do You Advise Your Clients To Attend Voluntary Pre-Trial Counseling In A DUI Case?
That’s not something I get involved with very often, but a client’s health and well-being is probably the most important aspect of any case. If the client is in need of professional counseling then I always recommend they see a professional to assist them in addressing their problems. Counseling, whether inpatient or outpatient, will have very little impact on any future defense. However, it could have a positive impact on any future imposition of sentence.
At What Point In My DUI Case Will, I Have To Enter A Plea Of Guilty Or Not Guilty?
In Pennsylvania, discovery is triggered by what’s called a common pleas arraignment. It is at that procedure that an entry of not guilty will be submitted on your behalf, whether you do it live or through the mail. Your attorney would then file what’s called an omnibus pre-trial motion for discovery and possibly even a motion for suppression. The Commonwealth is then required to provide all inculpatory and exculpatory evidence they have in their possession.
What Happens After I Enter A Plea Of Not Guilty In My DUI Case?
You file a motion for discovery, and you simultaneously prepare a motion to suppress. You interview witnesses. I like to meet my clients at the site of the arrest. I like to review any and all lab reports and see if there are any closed circuit TVs around that area so we can get the businesses to provide us with those closed circuit TV recordings. If the client thinks it’s in his best interest to go to trial, we would then get ready for trial.
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