How do you effectively negotiate a DUI case?
Posted by Ben Sessions | | DUI / DWI
How do you effectively negotiate a DUI case, and does it make a real difference?
Most of our clients do not want their case to go to trial. They want their case to be negotiated to an amicable resolution generally. Therefore, understanding how to effectively negotiated DUI cases is an important skill for all DUI attorneys to develop and work to improve.
One of the things that I really frequently see people make the mistake of doing is that they will speak with the prosecutor or an officer about a case and they really won’t have any developed leverage of the case, they won’t have done an investigation in the case, they won’t really know anything about the client’s background, or what the client has done pro actively that would create any reason or any incentive for the prosecutor or an officer to be agreeable to negotiate the case for anything except for a DUI plea. If you’re approaching an officer or approaching a prosecutor about a case you need to know that either you’ve got some leverage to work with, or you don’t and you’re just going to keep your mouth shut. But if you’re in a position where you’re just showing up, for example, at a first appearance on a DUI, the last thing that you need to be doing there at that point is soliciting an offer from a prosecutor. What you’ve done whenever you solicit an offer, or whatever you have to know no rebuttal, no response whatsoever to the objection as to why it is your case should be reduced or dismissed. You’ve allowed the prosecutor to give you first, it almost certain DUI plea recommendation.
The second, you’ve also anchored that person, that means that they formed an opinion and once you’ve got a formed opinion in anyone’s mind about almost anything, you need to know that that person is going to become very difficult to move off of that position. What you should consider that situation is doing something that is probably pretty obvious to most of us, which is to say to the prosecutor, look I don’t have access to the video, I don’t have access to the incident report, I don’t really know much about this case right now. Instead of you forming an opinion about what it is if you’re going to do about that Mr Mrs prosecutor right now, what I like for you to do is just wait just a little bit let me have an opportunity to look at the case, to look at the discovery, and then you and I can have a conversation about it. But right now, my concern is that if you go ahead and get an offer, a clear recommendation in the case, and I don’t know anything about it, I can’t really talk to you about it. So, let them know, hey my concern is that you’ll form an opinion that might not be what it is that you should actually do in the case, that’s because we only know one side of the story right now, because you hadn’t started any sort of investigation, So, try your best to avoid having a prosecutor form an opinion about a case until you actually have a video, until you actually have an answer, or until you know what it is is actually that’s going on. I think it will help a lot in the results that you’re ultimately able to attain, if you just ask prosecutors to be patient in their evaluation of it. If you have any questions about your cases or if you just want to talk strategically about things that you should or shouldn’t be doing in your cases, is still free to call me. My name is Ben Sessions, my phone number is 470-225-7710. Again, 470-225-7710, thank you.