How do you negotiate a DUI case when the arresting officer participated in the negotiations?
Posted by Ben Sessions | | DUI / DWI
How do you negotiate a DUI case when the arresting officer participated in the negotiations? What types of factors do you use and negotiating a case where a police officer that arrested a client in the case is attending the negotiations with you. It is very, very common for me to attend, um, pretrial conferences, negotiations with prosecutors and to have the officer in the case in attendance with us. My name is Ben sessions. I’m a DUI lawyer here in Georgia. What I want to do here is talk to you a little bit about how it is strategically that you approach negotiations in which the officer’s there. Because for a lot of lawyers, having the officer in attendance whenever they’re talking to a prosecutor about the case is very uncomfortable. It makes them uncomfortable because they feel like they cannot be truthful, candid about what the weaknesses are in the prosecutor’s case. And I think really whenever you get down to it, there is one simple thing that you need to do in negotiating a case with a prosecutor.
Whenever the law enforcement officer is present first and only your guideposts needs to be that you are not going to say anything that is not objectively present in the case. If you’re going to discuss what evidence is not there, that’s very, very easy. You’re going to talk about things that the officer did not do in the course of the investigation and that’s all that you’re going to do. And focusing on discussing the facts of the case. Once you do that, you take away all the subjective factors in terms of, Hey, I just don’t believe my client was impaired. You’re talking about what the evidence will not show if the case were to go to a trial. And then you’re just sticking to sort of soft factors that we normally discuss. What’s my client’s background, what’s my client’s history? How is it that those things will motivate the prosecutor to try to resolve it?
But whenever you’re discussing the case in the presence of the officer with the prosecutor, um, what I want you to stick to and what I think you’ll kind of remain safe is talking to the prosecutor about things that are not present. For example, there’s no blood breath, urine test that is, is very easy in the vast majority of cases in which there’s a refusal of the test. If there’s field sobriety tests that are missing, if there’s no walk and turn one leg stand, well we don’t have any evidence of um, of divided attention tests that were performed upon my client. And then if there’s no driving infraction, there’s, there’s, that’s a very easy one as well. There’s no real evidence of impaired driving ability in the video, in the evidence. So the case, and obviously if the officer did not cite my client for um, for a traffic violation, we can certainly use that as well. But stick to the objective factors. I believe you’ll stay away from the arguments there and hopefully then you’ll be able to get to a amicable resolution of the case at both the prosecutor and your client are agreeable to. If you have any questions, feel free to call me. My name is Ben sessions. My phone number is (470) 225-7710 again, (470) 225-7710 thank you.