Criminal Defense in Orange County

Evaluating the State's DUI Case Against You

The first step that your lawyer will take in constructing your DUI defense is an evaluation of the state's case against you. They will also take a close look at evidence that the state has against you, which can include police reports, chemical test results, and expert witness statements. Some of these elements will have to be formally requested through a process called discovery. Your attorney will then identify each element that the prosecution would need to prove in order to get a conviction against you.

They will then decide which elements are most vulnerable to being undermined. As your criminal defense attorney identifies these elements, they must determine how likely it is that the prosecution can prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, the legitimacy of the state's DUI case depends in part on the legality of the initial traffic stop prior to your arrest for DUI.

If the state has insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the police officer had sufficient justification to pull you over, it may be something to incorporate into your case. Another obvious example would be that the state has to prove that you were indeed intoxicated. How sound is their evidence to that effect? Do they have breath, blood, or urine tests? Do you have any evidence that may contradict the test results? These questions will factor heavily into your defense.

Does the prosecution really have a case against you?

The prosecution may not want to take your drunk driving case to trial. But how can you determine this? An Orange County criminal lawyer often has the means to figure out the prosecution's strategic goal, whether it's to try your case or to reach a settlement with you. And if the prosecution wants to settle, what do they really want you to agree to? If the signals are there, you want an attorney who can read them. If the prosecutor handling your case is willing to talk, you want a lawyer who is ready to listen. Deputy district attorneys just want an honest counterpart to negotiate a reasonable deal with.

Your attorney should be that counterpart. Your lawyer will also take a look at the facts on the ground. Has the District Attorney's office undertaken extensive discovery on your case? If it has, that might mean they want to go to trial. But if they haven't, there's a good chance it means they just want to settle. Your attorney should recognize the difference. A lawyer familiar with the local legal landscape may also get a sense of what the prosecution's strategy is going to be by taking into account various intangible circumstances that only a well-connected attorney can effectively know or find out.

Are the courts overbooked right now? Does the Deputy District Attorney assigned to your case have a lot of other cases on his plate? Is he overworked right now? Or, on the other hand, are you up against an overeager Deputy DA looking to rack up what he thinks are easy "wins" in DUI cases? These are questions you can't answer yourself, so you should talk to the Orange County DUI attorney at The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs about your case before you talk to a prosecutor on your own. For a free initial consultation, simply fill out a case evaluation form online.