Building a Defense For First Time Ocean City DUI Charges
If arrested and charged for a DUI offense in Ocean City the following are the three basic steps of building a defense that you should know. These are based on how Ocean City treats first time DUI charges. To learn more or to develop a case specifically for your case, call and schedule a consultation with an Ocean City DUI lawyer today.
Step 1: Reviewing The Evidence
The first step to building a defense is looking at the elements of each offense that the state has to prove in order to convict the defendant. The state has the burden of proof at trial, so the state must provide evidence that meets the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. For this reason the first thing to do is look and see whether the state has the evidence it needs to prove every element and to the burden of proof that applies in DUI cases.
The specific elements that the state must prove include:
- Whether the defendant was operating a motor vehicle
- Whether there was impairment and evidence to suggest impairment
- Was a motor vehicle being operated.
Step 2: Making Sure The Defendant’s Rights Weren’t Violated
Once the evidence is collected and reviewed the next step is to analyze it from a Constitutional perspective and ensure that the defendant’s rights were not violated. If they were, the evidence may be suppressed. This is the second of the two prong approach to defense, looking at the evidence that exists and then doing a Constitutional analysis of the evidence.
Step 3: Talk to the Client
Equally important to those two things is having conversations with the client and finding out what the defense will be. That requires a lot of input from the client and may include asking the client things about their medical history. For instance,
- How is their health?
- Is there something going on that appears to be impacting your ability to drive and has nothing to do with alcohol?
What Else Needs To Happen Before Trial?
There are multiple things that have to be accomplished before walking into the courtroom. A lot of different analysis has to take place that is specific to the case and it’s details. A client should also be prepared for the worst-case scenario which is standing with their attorney during the sentencing phase with the judge is trying to decide what to do with the defendant. As an Ocean City DUI lawyer, I want to make sure that we have all reasonable mitigation options available. We want to have done everything we can to be prepared for sentencing in front of that judge.
I also need to make sure the judge is seeing my client not just as the defendant, but hopefully also as a hard worker, somebody who is employed, a parent, and all those things. I want the judge to see my client as a person, not just as a defendant in a case.