How is justice achieved in our criminal justice system if you are charged with a DUI?
The justice system in California and throughout America is based upon the idea that if both the prosecutor and the defense attorney know the law, have the appropriate skills to do their jobs, and fight zealously for their side, then the truth will be known and justice will be done. This isn't always the case, especially in drunk driving cases which are usually more complex and offer more opportunities for dui lawyers to make mistakes.
I'm sure you are asking yourself some questions. What if your California DUI attorney doesn't know the law? What if your DUI lawyer doesn't have the necessary skills to do the job? What if your attorney doesn't fight passionately and do all that he or she can to win your case? If your DUI lawyer fails any one of these criteria, then justices will not be done. But you will be the only one to get hurt because of it.
These questions bring other questions and worries to mind. How are you supposed to be able to tell whether or not your DUI attorney knows the law? Isn't that why attorneys go to law school anyway, to know the law?
How can I know if my attorney doesn't have the skills necessary to handle my case? What skills are necessary anyway?
How can I know whether or not my attorney has done all he could do to defend me and win my case. Besides, what are all the different things an attorney can do to win a case?
These are all questions that many defendants have but are afraid to ask. But you might also be asking, "Well can't I just win on appeal if my attorney screws up?" Read on.
Winning on Appeal and Ineffective Assistance of Counsel in DUI Cases
During my years as a prosecutor and defense attorney, I was able to see all too well exactly how our criminal justice system works in America. I got to see all the good and all the bad. In everything I saw, one observation stood out; every day too many people charged with a crime lost their case or accepted a very bad plea bargain from the prosecutor all because of hidden mistakes that their attorneys made. And since DUI cases were more complex there were more mistakes made in those cases
What was worse was the fact that almost none of these defendant's ever knew or even suspected that their dui attorney had done anything wrong. And even worse than that, was the fact that if they had even known the attorney had screwed up, under the laws of the land very few of these cases would ever be able to be overturned on appeal.
You see, the law states that a case can be thrown out if there is what we call in the legal world ineffective assistance of counsel. It basically means that your attorney screwed up so bad that the outcome of the case would be in doubt to your average reasonable person. But the key here is not just that the attorney made a mistake. The key is that the mistake was so bad that the outcome of the case would be in doubt.
So, if you go to jury trial and lose because of something your attorney did or failed to do, then the court of appeals can overturn your conviction if they believe there is a reasonable chance that the outcome of your case would have been different had the mistake not been made. But here's the catch; it is very difficult to prove this, especially if you enter a plea and do not go to trial.
Most cases do not go to trial, so most mistakes never have a chance of ever being noticed, much less ever even appealed and corrected. Once you enter a plea it becomes very difficult to ever appeal your case because you most likely either pled guilty or no contest. And if you plea no contest, the judge assumes you are guilty.
You may be asking one final question. How can you be certain that your DUI attorney is one of the great California DUI attorneys? You can learn more about what to look for in a good DUI attorney and how to find one of the great California DUI attorneys near you.