Often, people who are charged with a DUI choose to plead out rather than go to trial. However, you do have the right to challenge the charges against you in court. If you decide to take this path, it’s important for you to tell your story and provide the court with your point of view.
Ways to approach your story
Remember, in court you are under oath. Telling a story is not telling a fictional tale. Your point of view must be rooted in facts and evidence. However, people often have different takes on the situation. The “truth,” as asserted by the prosecutor, is likely much different than your truth. It’s important to present the facts in a way that helps benefit your defense. Some of the common defense strategies you might wish to use when presenting your case include:
- Confession: If the case against you is airtight and it appears there’s no way around the charges, you may opt to confess. Doing so may sway the court to offering you a more lenient sentence than if you decide to take things all the way to the end.
- Denial: Perhaps you are innocent of the charges against you. Maybe you spilled a drink on your pants the night before, and you only smelled of alcohol. Perhaps a medical event made you appear to be drunk.
- Splitting the difference: This approach falls somewhere between an outright confession and a flat denial. You might admit having had a couple of drinks before getting behind the wheel, but the police had no probable cause to make a traffic stop. Maybe the results of the breathalyzer test weren’t accurate.
You should work closely with your attorney to determine the best approach to having your voice heard.
Weighing the pros and cons of testifying
If you choose to assert your point of view through testimony, the risks must be carefully weighed. Are you at ease with public speaking? Can you provide honest answers to the questions asked of you? Can you avoid offering too much information? Is your testimony likely to hurt your defense? You should discuss whether testifying is wise with your lawyer.