Ideally, when one of our clients has been charged with DUI, our goal is to either get them acquitted or to at least get the charges against them reduced. There are times. however, when we have no choice but to take a case to DUI trial.
Our Clemson DUI lawyers have decades of combined experience handling these types of cases. As a trial date approaches, our associates are still working every angle and gathering as much evidence as possible to prove that our client is not guilty.
As with any other type of criminal matter, there is always a chance that the defendant will be convicted. It all depends on the evidence the state has and your criminal history. As the day of the DUI trial nears, it’s important that our criminal defense lawyers in Clemson remind their clients of what is about to happen.
There are also several things you need to know before trial starts. Here, we intend to discuss five of the most important facts you need to consider as your case heads for trial. In the meantime, if you have any questions about your own DUI trial, contact our office right away. We will be more than happy to connect you with one of our associates who can answer any questions you may have about your case.
Our Clemson DUI Lawyers Settle Most Cases
The good news heading into DUI trial is that our Clemson DUI lawyers end up settling most of their cases. They have built working relationships with the prosecutor’s office and will do everything in their power to get a favorable plea deal arranged. If, on the other hand, the evidence against you is not strong, it may make sense to go to trial and put up a fight.
Your criminal defense lawyer in Clemson will gather whatever evidence is available to prove that you are not guilty of DUI. They will challenge the breathalyzer test results and they will challenge the legitimacy of your field sobriety test. They will use whatever ammunition is in their toolbox to get the prosecutors to agree to a fair plea deal.
Your Criminal History Does Matter a Great Deal in a DUI Trial
One thing you must remember when you’re charged with DUI is that your past criminal history does matter. Under South Carolina law, the penalties for DUI continue to increase with each subsequent offense. If this is your second or third time being charged with DUI, you’ll be facing much stiffer penalties and much higher fines.
Even if the prosecutor is willing to offer a plea deal, the judge still has to approve it. If they take one look at your criminal history and feel that you’re a threat to society, they have the power to reject or veto that plea deal. This is the last thing you want to happen. Just make sure you tell your attorney about anything in your past that could impact the outcome of your DUI trial.
There is a Good Chance the State Has a Significant Amount of Evidence Against You
One thing that most Clemson DUI lawyers will agree on is that most of their clients insist that they only had one or two drinks before they were pulled over. They insisted they weren’t drunk and that the cops had a conspiracy against them. We understand it’s human nature to not want to be caught doing something wrong.
However, you need to remember that the State would not have filed charges against you if they didn’t have significant evidence showing that you were driving under the influence. The last thing the state wants to do is waste time and money on a criminal matter that will not stand up in court. You need to let your criminal defense lawyer in Clemson do their job and try to chip away at the State’s evidence in order to get you the best possible outcome.
Make Sure You’re Prepared for the Penalties if You Are Convicted
Ideally, your attorney will be able to get you a sweet deal or get the charges against you dropped. Even if your case goes to DUI trial, they may still be able to earn you an acquittal. However, there is a chance that you’ll be found guilty. With a conviction for DUI, you’ll be looking at severe penalties. Not only will your driver’s license be suspended, but you may also be ordered to do community service.
You will likely pay more than $1,000 in fines and your insurance rates will skyrocket. Depending on your criminal history, you could even be sentenced to serve time in jail. Make sure you prepare yourself for these possibilities before DUI trial. Make any arrangements you need to for childcare or to take a sabbatical from work. You won’t have much time to do these things after the case is over.
Let Your Clemson DUI Lawyer Do Their Job
One of the final things that we need to discuss is what your role is as your case goes to trial. The reason you hired a Clemson DUI lawyer is so that they can do their job and try to get the best possible outcome. Their goal is to get you a favorable plea deal or poke enough holes in the State’s case to get the charges dropped.
They can’t do this if you continue to interfere in the case. As angry as you may be about the charges, you have to trust your attorney has your best interests in mind. Nothing frustrates a criminal defense lawyer in Clemson more than a client who refuses to assist in their own defense.
Make sure you’re honest and open with your attorney from day one. Be respectful to the judge and all the other court staff. Do not give the prosecutor a hard time, especially when your attorney is trying to negotiate a favorable plea deal. If you have faith in your attorney and trust that they’re going to do their best for you, things will work out much better than if you try to interfere too much.
You Should Entrust Your Case to an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Clemson
We understand that the temptation to just handle things on your own is great. After all, it’s not like you’ve been charged with murder. You can go online and figure out what the penalties are for a first offense DUI in South Carolina. However, reading a few articles on the internet is not going to prepare you for a DUI trial the way you think it will.
It’s important that you take stock of what was discussed in this article so that you can be prepared for the day when your case goes before a judge. It’s also important that you speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Clemson early enough in the case that they can make a difference. If you want any chance of having the charges against you dropped or at least reduced, you should speak with an attorney right away.