How do you negotiate a DUI case when the arresting officer participated in the negotiations?
As a DUI lawyer, I often attend pretrial conferences and negotiations with prosecutors where the arresting officer is present. If that is the case for you, there are a few things you can do to strategically approach the negotiation when the officer is in the room. This can be a very uncomfortable situation, and you may feel like you are not able to be candid about the weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case against you. However, there is one simple thing that you should do when negotiating your DUI case with a prosecutor.
Stick To The Facts Of Your Case In DUI Negotiations
If the arresting officer is present during negotiations, you should refrain from talking about anything that is not objectively present in the case. This means that you only discuss evidence that is not there. For example, focus on the things that the officer failed to do in the course of investigation. Also, do not stray away from the facts of the case.
The goal in a DUI negotiation is to remove all subjective factors of the case, such as your “belief” that you are not impaired. Stick to factual evidence that may make it into trial, such as your background, your prior arrest history, and any evidence that will not be available to the prosecutor. These are the things that you can leverage when working to resolve your DUI case with the prosecution.
What Evidence Should I Discuss When Negotiating My DUI Case?
You will be safe in talking to the prosecutor about evidence that is not present in your case. This may include a missing blood test, breath test or urine test. You can also point out different tests that were missing from the field sobriety test, such as standing on one leg, divided attention tests, or walk and turn tests.
Another important factor to discuss is whether or not there was a driving infraction, or a reason for why the arresting officer pulled you over in the first place. You may also ask to see the video of the arrest. If there is no evidence of impaired driving, then you can use that in negotiations as well. Most importantly, stick to the objective factors.
If you have questions about your DUI case, I encourage you to give our office a call at (470) 225-7710.