How do I fight my DUI?
Taking your DUI to trial is an exhilirating and stressful experience. We are very lucky to live in a society where we may have a jury of our peers judge us for our actions. A jury on a DUI case can act as an excellent check against the sometimes overzealous prosecution of DUI charges in Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties.
Of course, not every case is right for going to trial. The decision to go to trial is a very difficult one to make when you have an offer of Oregon DUII Diversion on the table. At this law firm we are not afraid to reject diversion and to bring cases to trial, but I assure you that it is rare. In fact, we have only counseled someone to reject diversion once. We won that trial, but that’s no guarantee that we would win yours.
The more common scenario where you might want to go to trial is when you have a second or third DUI charge. In that case, the prosecution tends to give you a plea offer that would have you go to jail for several weeks at the least. Oftentimes there is little to lose by taking such a case to trial. Even so, the cost of going to trial can be quite high depending on your case. We will try a DUI case for $2500 in addition to our pre-trial retainer.
What makes DUI trial winnable? Why might you want to go to trial even with a perfectly good diversion offer on the table? Any good starting point for trial analysis is with the breath test results. The legal limit in Oregon is .08 BAC. In our experience, juries tend to place a great deal of weight on whether a person was over or under that limit. Another major factor in our analysis is the police report detailing your stop and arrest. Reading these reports is an art as much as a science. We look for inconsistencies in the report, we look for things that you did right, we look for things that the police overlooked. These reports give us good insight into how an officer will present his case on the stand and we use these reports to prepare a cross-examination that will highlight all of the points that will raise reasonable doubt.
At the end of the day, “reasonable doubt” is the DUI defendant’s best friend. The state must prove its charges beyond a reasonable doubt, to the point where no juror has a doubt in their mind that they would call reasonable as to your guilt. This is a very high burden for the state to carry. If we can show the jury a reason to doubt the state’s evidence and if the jury finds that reasonable, then they will acquit you. But, then again, the jury can do whatever it wants. This is the risk of going to trial. Rest assured that you need an Oregon DUI Attorney on your side.