What to Expect In Your Drunk Driving Defense Case

Posted by Ryan Russman | Oct 28, 2013 | 0 Comments

This is to help you understand what your attorney will be doing to prepare for trial in more detail, as well as provide you with more insight about what a great DWI attorney looks like.

While you are encouraged to continue living your life and going to work, it is inevitable that you will be preoccupied with your case.

You will also be required to meet with your attorney and cooperate with him or her as he or she investigates your case and tries to find ways to defend you from the charges.

Building Your NH DWI Defense

There is a lot of work your attorney does before going to court for you, and you have to place a lot of trust into the attorney you hire

While you may spend several hours with your attorney, there are many more hours of work happening that you will not see.

Some of it is work he does that applies to all DWI cases, like being trained to be certified in field sobriety testing and breath alcohol concentration testing, so that he can have expert insight into what the protocols are that he will be defending you from.

Your attorney will also be busy reading through all of the state's documents as well as requesting information through discovery that will help him or her build your defense.

Your attorney will file all of your motions in court and will take care of all of the paperwork.

A good DWI attorney has a very good professional network in his community, and is respected by other attorneys, judges and prosecutors.

You will know of everything your attorney is doing through monthly statements and copies of letters and court documents that are sent to you.

Private Investigators to Assist in Your Defense

A good attorney will know when to seek the assistance of a private investigator.  Whether your attorney has an investigator on staff or merely has a great working relationship with a private investigator, trust your attorney if he recommends hiring an investigator, even if this means additional expense.

Often the investigator has experience working as a police officer or in some other related field and is being hired for his ability to analyze what happened at an accident or crime scene or be able to research the backgrounds of the people being called to testify against you.

Connect With Your Criminal Defense Lawyer

Make sure you hire a DWI attorney who will not leave you feeling as though your outcome might have been different if someone else had handled the case.

At the same time, you cannot expect your attorney to be a miracle worker. However, you should expect your attorney to behave professionally and to communicate with you effectively.

You should be comforted if you go into the courtroom and your attorney appears to be well-known and respected by the judge and prosecutors.

While this does not mean your attorney will do anything unethical on your behalf or be able to convince the judge or prosecutor to drop your charges just based on his relationships, it does mean that the judge and prosecutor will respect your attorney and listen if he has valid concerns about the legality or constitutionality of your case.

You should never expect (and definitely do not ask) your attorney to do anything unethical in order to help your case.

You may feel desperate and willing to do anything, and that is completely understandable, but acting on those feelings would be dangerous and damaging to your case and to your relationship with your attorney and could result in criminal charges.

Pleadings Filed in Your Drunk Driving Case

If you have a thorough attorney, he will spend time getting to know all of the details of your case.

An experienced DWI attorney will file various “pleadings” – tools used to obtain needed information for your defense – with the court.  Your attorney will copy the prosecutor on any action he takes with the court; the prosecutor has the right to challenge or respond to the pleadings.

The pleadings must be made within a specified time frame and need to be very specific.  Again, it becomes critical that you have a very experienced DWI attorney by your side.  Any filing that your attorney makes will be based on the facts of your case in regards to legal and constitutional proceedings.

The arguments he or she makes will be supported by the research your attorney has done on previous case law or how the law could or should be interpreted by the courts given the intentions of the legislature.

Your attorney will not attempt to cover every single possibility, but instead he or she will choose the most likely arguments that will either reduce or dismiss your charges (or reduce your sentence).

Filing frivolous motions and arguing claims that cannot be substantiated with case law and statute will only make your attorney seem unprofessional and may anger the judge and prosecutor, making it difficult to work out any kind of agreement later should the need arise.

While in most cases the prosecutor and the officers involved in your case will comply with your attorney's requests for information outside of court, you will occasionally find less cooperative people, and your experienced DWI attorney will know how to handle their lack of cooperation by filing the proper motions with the court.

Bringing in the Experts

It is not uncommon for your attorney to decide to hire an expert to testify at your hearing if the attorney thinks that it is necessary.

In some cases, expert testimony can help sway the jury in your favor by making it impossible for them to dismiss the possibility of error, particularly in the case of alcohol concentration test results and field sobriety tests.

About the Author

Ryan Russman

Attorney Ryan Russman has dedicated his career to fighting for the rights of New Hampshire citizens. His practice, based in Exeter (Rockingham County) New Hampshire, is limited to cases involving DWI and DUI, other motor vehicle and criminal cases, and many cases involving personal injury. He is, however, best known as one of New Hampshire's leading legal authorities on DWI.


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