There are many factors that contribute to whether a person charged with DUI is convicted or acquitted. Some of them are well known such as the results of chemical tests, the testimony and observations of the arresting officer, and the physical condition of the accused at the time they were pulled over and arrested. There are other factors that play a role that are less well known and of a more intangible nature. For lack of a better term, we will call them “the intangibles.”
You Have the Right to Remain Silent, so Use it
Most experienced DUI defense attorneys will tell you that it is a good idea to not answer any questions that the police put to you. If you are arrested, the police will read you your Miranda rights. They will inform you that you have the right to remain silent and anything you say can be used against you. They do this because the Supreme Court requires them to inform you of your Fifth Amendment rights to not incriminate yourself.
Just imagine if you went to the bar and had a few beers and then got pulled over. When the police officer asks if you have been drinking, you reply (in the spirit of cooperation) that you had two beers. Well, if they subpoena your credit card records and they show that you, in fact, paid for six beers, you can now be cast as a liar. Sure, you might be able to explain away the other four beers as having been bought for friends, but your credibility is in question all because you were trying to be cooperative. Even skilled defense attorneys can explain away only so much damning evidence. Unfortunately, many people get this advice too late to act on it since they only consult an attorney after an arrest has been made.
Your Physical Appearance at Trial
If you have ever spent any time in a courtroom, you know that many people show up for trials dressed like they just do not care. You will see people wearing dirty work boots and cut-off shorts to trials at which their futures are at stake. A good defense attorney will advise his or her clients to clean up before they get to court, but many clients do not listen. Wearing clean and neat clothing and maintaining your hair shows the court that you are taking the proceedings seriously and that you respect the authority of the court. While this may not get you acquitted, it cannot hurt.
Your Behavior at Trial
When you get your day at court, you need to treat the proceedings with the gravity they deserve. You should pay attention to what is going on and maintain an even demeanor. You should never be combative or argumentative. You should always be respectful when addressing the court if the opportunity arises. The judge and/or jury watch the defendant for signs of remorse or lack thereof. Guilt can be inferred from how a defendant behaves while at trial although it typically is not admissible evidence.
Skilled and experienced defense attorneys know the law well but they also know how to manage these intangibles to give their clients the best shot at acquittal. Jad Sarsour has been defending clients charged with DUI in Northern Virginia for years. He knows what works in a courtroom and what does not. If you find yourself in this situation, give him a call today at (571) 367-7009 to set up your initial consultation. Your rights and liberty are at risk and you need and deserve the best defense you can get.