How Do You Determine Whether To Take A Case To Trial Or To Settle In A DUI Case?

In any case, it is my client's decision whether or not the case goes to trial. What we're looking for is issues like whether or not a particular breath machine was accurate. We will look into the maintenance and calibration records of that particular machine. The issue might be whether or not a particular driver was impaired by alcohol or if there was a medical condition involved. There are a lot of medical conditions that can mimic impairment by alcohol.

My job is to make sure I tell all my clients that I can't get new facts; I am stuck with the facts they bring me. I go over those facts and make sure they understand them and understand which facts help us and which facts hurt us.

Will I Face Harsher Penalties If I Am Convicted At Trial As Opposed To Pleading Out In A DUI Case?

There are certainly judges in the state of Florida who are known to live by the maxim that if you take their time, they'll take yours. If you go to trial in front of them, you better win. It is not right and it is not constitutional, but any lawyer who's been involved in any legal system for any length of time knows that there are judges who exact what's known as a trial tax. You have to pay the tax, if you want a trial. We have to consider whether or not we are in the courtroom of a judge who's going to be fair and give the same penalty to someone who entered a plea as to someone who went to trial and lost.

How Do You Advise Clients When Determining Whether To Take A Case To Trial Or Not?

Whether or not to go to trial is an intensely personal decision. Even people who know that they are not guilty are often intimidated by the prospect of sitting in a courtroom with every eye on them, judging them, evaluating them, and watching every move. There are people who would rather die than be living under that kind of scrutiny for even a day or two. I can tell them what I think will happen if we lose and the dangers of what other facts might come out, if we have a trial. If there is a previous conviction in some other state, those are the types of risks that are inherent in going to trial because everything gets closer scrutiny. We have to discuss all those things and we have to go over the police video.

It's a totally different case, if my client was well-behaved, polite, and respectful to the officers than it is if I have a client who is threatening to the officer. It is part of my job, as a lawyer, to be able to honestly advise my client as to what will happen when a jury sees that.

Why Is It Important For A Defendant To Fully Understand Their Options In a DUI Case?

In Florida, on a first offense DUI, a judge you rubbed the wrong way could put you in jail for up to six months. On a second offense within five years, there's a mandatory 10 days in jail but you could go to jail for up to nine months. My job, as a lawyer, is to make sure that there is nothing that comes up in the courtroom that we have not fully discussed in advance.

How Does Your Personality, Experience And Approach Help You In Winning DUI Cases?

I like to think that I have the ability to empathize with people on the jury, and to see my client the way the jury sees them. That's the most important quality any trial lawyer can have because if you are not acutely tuned in to how you're coming off to the jury, you can easily say or do something that can mess up even the best case. I've had a lot of jobs in my life. I paid for my own college and paid for my own law school. I've been a road laborer, a short order cook, a tour guide, a driver, a night watchman, a retail salesman, a teacher, a Coca-Cola delivery man, and a radio disc jockey.

I've done a lot of things and I like to think that that's given me some insight into people in a lot of different walks of life. I've worked with a lot of different kinds of people and I try to see everyone as someone struggling to make it through life. That includes every juror, every judge, every police officer, and every defendant. If you can be empathetic with people and try and see the world from their point of view, it makes it a lot easier to see what will convince them of your point of view.

For more information on Settling Or Litigating A DUI Case In Florida, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (786) 579-2100 today.

Board Certification in DUI Defense

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Tom Hudson passed the National Board Certification Examination (written and oral) in Honolulu in 2008, and was recertified in 2013. He was one of the first 50 lawyers granted national board certification in DUI Defense, and is nationally recognized as an authority in DUI law.

Why We're Different

Board Certification as a DUI Specialist by the National College for DUI Defense. Formal NHTSA Certification as an Instructor of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests given by police in DUI cases. Formal training as a NHTSA Drug Recognition Evaluator. ("Drug Evaluation & Classification") Formal training to operate the Intoxilyzer 8000, Florida's official breath test instrument. Extensive experience in teaching other attorneys how to handle DUI cases. Hundreds of jury trials both as defense lawyer and as prosecutor. Florida's State Delegate to the National College for DUI Defense.