Williamson County Criminal Attorney For A DUI Charge
Thousands of people are arrested and brought up on DUI charges each year. Being charged with driving under the influence in Williamson County is a serious situation that could land you in jail. Additionally, you could lose your driver’s license, be forced to pay expensive fines, and have a permanent criminal record.
Because of these potentially serious consequences, you should hire an attorney to represent your interests. A skilled attorney can better prevent your rights from being violated so that you receive the most favorable outcome that is possible under the circumstances. Before you hire an attorney, you should educate yourself on how your DUI case may unfold and learn about the various steps that will likely take place. That way, you’ll better understand how a DUI lawyer in Williamson County could help you to achieve a favorable outcome.
What To Expect
If you have been arrested and charged with DUI In Williamson County, you will need to enter a plea at some point. Meaning, you will need to tell the court whether you are not guilty, guilty, or opting not to contest the charges. The vast majority of people charged with crimes plead not guilty at the initial stage of their criminal cases. At any point, you can change your not guilty plea to guilty or no contest if you make a deal with the prosecutor. Your criminal defense lawyer will gather the facts and evidence related to your case and advise you on how you should plead.
Once your plea has been entered, you will likely be released and given a court date for your trial. During the time you are awaiting your trial, you may be subject to restrictions on what you can do. For instance, depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, it is possible that your driving privileges may be suspended, and you may be ordered to stop drinking until your case is concluded. Your lawyer will have an opportunity to argue on your behalf concerning the restrictions placed on you while you wait for trial. If you need to drive to get to work, you may be allowed to theme your car for work purposes only.
Preparing For Your Case
While you wait for your court date, your lawyer will diligently go over the facts and evidence of your case. They may also interview witnesses and review any video or photos taken at the scene. If you were given a breathalyzer or a blood test to determine your BAC (blood alcohol content), your lawyer would likely request to see the test results and any accompanying documents about the machine and the chain of custody. In many DUI cases, the defense lawyer will challenge the accuracy of the breath or blood test. If the test is shown to be unreliable for any reason, then you may have your case dismissed.
Depending on the evidence and the charges brought against you, your lawyer may look to resolve your case by entering into what is known as a plea agreement. A plea agreement usually involves a specific sentencing recommendation in exchange for pleading guilty to criminal charges. In many cases, the sentence that a prosecutor will recommend is less severe than what they would seek if the case were to go to trial.
If a plea deal is appropriate, your lawyer will negotiate with the prosecutor in an attempt to secure the best deal for you. They will then advise you about whether you should agree to what the prosecutor is offering. In the end, you will have the ultimate say concerning whether you are going to accept the prosecutor’s offer or take the case to trial where a judge or jury issues a verdict. If you decide to enter into a plea agreement, it is important to understand that the judge has the final say on whether the agreement will be accepted and what your sentence will be.
Motions And Going To Trial
Your case will be decided by a judge or jury if no plea agreement can be reached. In many DUI cases, a defense lawyer will file what is known as a motion to exclude certain evidence from being presented at trial. A motion is a request from either a defense lawyer or prosecutor for the court to take a particular action.
In a motion to exclude evidence, your lawyer will be asking the court to throw out certain evidence because it was obtained illegally or gathered under circumstances that violated your rights. In DUI cases, it is common for lawyers to file motions to exclude blood or breath tests. Your lawyer may also ask the court to exclude evidence because you were pulled over without reasonable suspicion or arrested without probable cause. If your lawyer’s request is granted, it is likely that the case against you will be dismissed.
If your case ends up going to trial, the prosecutor must prove that you are guilty of the DUI charge beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that based on the evidence, there is no other reasonable explanation for what happened other than that you are guilty of DUI. During a trial, your lawyer can question witnesses, present evidence, and make arguments to poke holes in the prosecutor’s case. It is important to remember that you are always innocent until you are proven guilty. All your lawyer needs to do for you to be found not guilty is create enough doubt to show that the prosecutor failed to prove the case against you. If this happens, you will be acquitted, and the charges against you will be dismissed. With that said, achieving an acquittal is easier said than done.
If you are found guilty, your criminal defense lawyer can make arguments concerning what your sentence should be. While the law in Texas features certain mandatory penalties for a DUI conviction, judges have some leeway on the sentences that they issue. Your lawyer can use facts about your prior criminal history and your ties to the community to argue for the lightest sentence allowable. Your lawyer may even suggest that you attend alcohol treatment instead of going to jail or paying large fines.
A Note About Appeals
If there are mistakes made in your trial, it is the responsibility of your criminal defense attorney to make objections during your trial so that you can later file an appeal. This means that if evidence was presented that should have been excluded, or the prosecutor failed to give your attorney all of the relevant evidence against you prior to trial, your attorney must let the court know about those errors during your trial. If your attorney does not do this, you may not be able to complain about those errors on appeal.
Williamson County Criminal Defense DUI Attorneys
Cofer & Connelly has over 60 years of experience representing clients who have been charged with criminal offenses such as DUI. As a result of this experience, the firm has learned how to effectively litigate these cases and secure the most favorable outcomes for its clients whenever possible.
Whether it be a negotiated plea agreement or a dismissal at trial, Cofer & Connelly lawyers treat every case with the same level of attention to detail and dedication. If you are facing felony DUI charges in Williamson County, you will need a felony DUI lawyer in Williamson County advocating for your interests. Call (512) 991-0576 or contact Cofer & Connelly online to learn more.
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