This week I tried a DWI to a jury. The jury deliberated for 50 minutes and came back with a not guilty verdict. The jury trial has inspired a number of future blog topics:
1. Loss of the normal use of physical or mental faculties -- In addition to the breath or blood test, this is an element of DWI. The standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) are not normal tasks. Yet, somehow a police officer is able to determine whether a person has "lost the normal use", by putting him through a battery of abnormal activities. It's not normal for a person to stand on one leg. It's not normal for a person to walk on a line heel to toe. It's not normal for a person to stand with feet together, hands at the side, staring slightly up at a pen that's passing back and forth in front of that person's face. An experienced attorney can exploit this paradox to the benefit of his client.
2. What to say when offered a breath or blood test -- As a trial attorney, it never ceases to amaze me how much you can learn from non-lawyers particularly your client. Just by happenstance, my client came up with what may be the ultimate response when offered a breath or blood test. Keep an eye out for the answer in an upcoming blog.
3. Breath or blood test consequences -- There are consequences to either refusing and submitting to a breath or blood test. You have to weigh those consequences and consider how they might affect your DWI case in the months following the arrest. More on that later.
4. Risks, consequences, and considerations when deciding whether or not to take your DWI case to trial -- It may come as a surprise to most that for the first time offender the risks associated with taking for DWI case to a jury are very minimal.
For this attorney, jury trials are a lot of fun. But they are a whole lot more fun when you win. It is a huge boost to your confidence, ego, and reputation. But it's even more rewarding to see the look of relief and gratitude on the face of your client.
If we can help you with your DWI case or any other criminal case, please contact us at (940) 387-3518, or visit us at hbwvlaw.com and iheartmylawyer.com. Don't forget to follow us on twitter @iheartmylawyer.