A DUI defense lawyer can help you through a difficult and traumatic experience. Drunk driving defense is a highly complicated area of the law, requiring experience and training above and beyond that required in a general law practice. A DUI lawyer can analyze your case, uncover defenses and flaws in the State’s evidence, and increase your chances for a favorable outcome, whether by plea agreement or trial.
A DUI (also called DWI, OWI, or OUI depending upon the State) is too serious a matter for you to handle alone. A competent drunk driving defense lawyer will stand by your side every step of the way. The first thing an Indiana DUI lawyer will do is enter his “appearance” on your behalf, notifying the court that you have an attorney defending your rights. He will request “discovery” in your case, which is access to all of the evidence the prosecutor will use against you. After reviewing and analyzing this evidence, he will be able to discuss your case with you and assist you in deciding whether to enter into a plea agreement or go to trial. He will negotiate with a prosecutor to obtain the best possible offer, or if necessary he will prepare and present your defense at trial.
Trial preparation may include taking “depositions” from witnesses or arguing pretrial motions, such as “motions to suppress” or “motions in limine”. The purposes of depositions include getting a preview of the State’s case and weakening or impeaching the testimony of State’s witnesses. Motions to Suppress are used to prevent damaging evidence from being presented at trial, and Motions in Limine are used to prevent the prosecutor from introducing evidence until the court rules on its admissibility. Since the prosecutor in your case is a lawyer who negotiates and tries cases as a profession, you need a lawyer on your side who is equal to the task of opposing the prosecutor’s efforts.
Although you have a right to defend yourself, there are tremendous risks in doing so, especially if you go to trial. You should know that a pro se defendant is held to the same standard as an attorney at trial. At trial, your attorney will choose a jury (if you have a jury trial), make opening and closing statements, Introduce your evidence and oppose introduction of State’s evidence, and participate in determining what jury instructions are given. All of these tasks require legal training.