The outcome of your DUI trial doesn't have to be squarely in a judge's hands. There are a few things that you can do to make yourself a candidate for a low DUI penalty. Here are some ways to be proactive about getting a reduced sentence.
Hire an Experienced Lawyer
The first thing to do is look for an experienced DUI lawyer or criminal law attorney who is well-versed in your county's DUI laws. They can be your first line of defense and greatly affect how you're seen in court. For instance, they will offer you counsel about which pieces of information to play up in your trial and which to minimize.
Weaken the Evidence
One part of a criminal lawyer's job is to help you weaken the evidence in your case. After all, a judge's sentencing is based on how strongly they believe you were driving under the influence and what the implications were to public safety. Your DUI lawyer may help you to refute a weak blood alcohol test or contextualize your drunken behavior as something else, such as illness or tiredness at the time. It can also help to argue that your drunk driving didn't put many people in danger; this is an especially good thing to mention if there were few drivers and pedestrians in the area at the time you were pulled over.
Seek Out Help On Your Own
You can also be proactive about taking steps to correct alcohol abuse and poor driving behavior. Alcoholics Anonymous is one option. Some states may also offer DUI classes to curb drunk driving. Substance abuse treatment centers are another excellent option for solving long-term alcohol abuse. If you sign up for these classes voluntarily and without the judge's guidance, it shows that you are already taking steps to correct your behavior and a heavy DUI sentencing isn't needed.
Offer To Do Community Service
If the financial obligations of a DUI sentencing are what you're concerned about, you may be able to negotiate. For instance, asking to do community service hours in lieu of a cash fine is one option to reduce the financial burden.
Ask for an Interlock Device
Another negotiation you can make if this is your first DUI is to get an interlock ignition device put on your car. While a judge may not accept, this is a potential option for you to keep being able to drive instead of getting your license revoked.
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