Can a DUI case be won in Kentucky? Yes!
As a practicing Kentucky DUI attorney I receive calls from people charged with DUI's who sincerely do not believe that their DUI case can be won! They call for help and to hire an a DUI defense lawyer but appear defeated before their defense even begins. In our discussions I explain to each caller that many, but not all, DUI's are winnable based on the facts. Yet I can tell from many of the caller's statements that they don't believe they can win regardless of what I say.
Earlier today I was reminded of this again while speaking with my client at the conclusion of the client's DUI case. Another criminal defense attorney had called me at the beginning of the case and asked for my assistance in defending his client. The case involved a blood test where assorted drugs were found in the client's blood and the client was found in her vehicle on the side of the roadway. He initially did not believe he could win the case due to the anticipated results of the pending blood test and discussed the options of a guilty plea. I explained that I thought we could win the case. Both the co-counsel and the client were skeptical. I worked the case as lead counsel, prepared the defense plan, handled the majority of the pretrial negotiations, prepared all of the motions for the court, retained the expert toxicologist, performed necessary investigations, and conducted a suppression hearing. During pretrial negotiations the prosecutor informed me that had had a very good track record of getting convictions on cases similar to my client's case. He initially did not listen to my argument that the facts did not support a conviction when applied to statutory law. The client and co-counsel continued to discuss negotiating a guilty plea to the DUI. I pressed on. All of the work paid off as I convinced my co-counsel, the client, and the prosecutor that the client had a winnable case during the suppression hearing. After a strong defense over many months and after presenting our arguments at the suppression hearing and continuing to show the prosecutor that the facts did not support the statutory elements for a DUI, the prosecutor agreed to amend the client's DUI to a traffic violation which was accepted by court.
So what do you need to win a DUI case? Believing in your innocence, hiring an experienced DUI defense attorney, and having a good written defense plan and following it.
First you must believe in yourself, in your innocence, and that your case may be won. A positive mental attitude helps your attorney: I find myself working harder for my client's when my client's believe in themselves. Prosecutors and Judges notice when a DUI defense lawyer believes in their client's innocence. They also take notice when the client believes in their own innocence.
Second, hire the best attorney you can to defend your DUI. Speak with your attorney. See if you feel comfortable with their expertise. Every attorney is different and handles cases differently. Listen to your attorney.
Third, work with your attorney to develop a case defense plan which fits your budget. This can only be done after meeting with the criminal defense attorney and answering your attorney's questions regarding the factual evidence. After the initial intake, the attorney will offer an opinion as to the work to be done, if experts need to be retained, the time commitment involved, and an estimate of costs involved. Then have the attorney put the defense plan in writing so you can both follow the process. This can be from one to many pages. For example, many times I offer alternative explanations during pretrial negotiations which fit the facts. However, the only way certain prosecutors will act on those facts is at a hearing, such as a license revocation hearing, a motion in limine hearing, or a suppression hearing. I personally like hearings to minimize risk to my client's and to help me modify my case plan prior to a possible trial. I include any option I can think of in my defense plan and modify it as the case progresses as new defense theories present themselves. My defense plan in the client's case listed above allowed me to convince the client, my co-counsel, and the prosecutor that the officer erred in charging the client with a DUI instead of realizing that the client needed to receive emergency medical treatment.