How do I choose the best DUI lawyer to help me?
You had a couple of drinks while you were out... you blinked twice and six hours later you are going home from a police station. You just finished one of the worst nights of your life, and you are on Google looking for the best DUI lawyer you can find.
You can see that there are over a dozen DUI lawyers just in Denver claiming they are the best answer to beat a DUI arrest. You've called a few of them and they all talk like they are unbeatable in court. How do you really sift through all of the sales pitches and self hype? After all, EVERY LAWYER has a law degree and is licensed to represent DUI cases. You have to look deeper to make an informed decision.
The following steps are an evidence based, logical formula to help you choose a lawyer that has the best chance at delivering what you are hoping for. Let's look at the anatomy of a DUI investigation as a framework to evaluate candidates for your case.
I. "Is there a problem, officer?"
Every DUI case begins with an officer detaining a driver for questioning. The initial police detention implicates constitutional hurdles and nuances of police procedure. An illegal detention negates the admissibility of all evidence that follows. Every police DUI detention begins in one of three ways: 1. a traffic stop by police flashing lights, 2. a car crash, or 3. a driver has fallen asleep at the wheel.
Does the DUI lawyer you are considering have any unique qualifications in police DUI stop procedures that sets them apart?
II. DUI Roadside Maneuvers
Once a Colorado DUI officer has seen any indication that a driver has been drinking or taking any kind of drug, they will go into a series of procedures to help them justify making a DUI arrest. Regardless of how late it is, no matter how tired or nervous a driver may be, the officer will require the same delicate balancing tasks. A driver may be overweight, have past injuries, or be sick. It may be freezing cold outside, raining, or extremely windy... a DUI officer will judge them all by the same rigid standards that were made up by officers 50 years ago.
Will your DUI lawyer be able to call out the many injustices built into police roadside procedures and the fake science behind them?
III. Colorado Express Consent Law
Once an officer has convinced themself that they can arrest a driver for suspicion of DUI, they take advantage of a Colorado driver's license rule that helps them mislead drivers into agreeing to give breath or blood tests. This Express Consent phase of a DUI arrest is where Colorado driver's license rules and the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution are at odds. The U.S. Supreme Court has clearly established that a driver has an expectation of privacy to the contents of their blood and even their breath. I discussed this this issue in a prior blog post in more detail.
Will your DUI lawyer stand of for your privacy rights and fight Colorado DUI rules that insult your rights under the U.S. Constitution?
IV. Forensic Standards
The instant your breath flows out of your mouth, or a drop of your blood drips into a vial, a complex series of scientific factors come into play. Physics, chemistry, biology, and medical procedures all exert potential influence on the alcohol concentration number that will be on a piece of paper at the end of the process. Forensic standards are in place to allow courts to have confidence in the accuracy of the numbers on that end result piece of paper.
Is your DUI attorney a true expert in forensic science?
V. Aggressive Advocacy
The four previously outlined fronts of attack on a DUI case mean very little if your DUI lawyer doesn't have the confidence and ability to stand up to the prosecutor and even the judge. Your lawyer must not only be an expert in the legal and forensic issues of your case, but must also know how to present convincing and persuasive arguments for you in court.
Does your DUI lawyer have extensive experience in trial and in contested hearings?
Cut past the sales hype. Choose the best DUI lawyer for your case based on evidence, not just words.