Defending DUI cases is not easy, but with our attorneys’ extensive training in Field Sobriety Tests (most of our attorneys are certified Standardized Field Sobriety Test Instructors) and our training in the operation and calibration of the breath testing machine as well as the process of testing blood for drugs and alcohol, we are able to defend as many DUIs as possible and get great results for our clients. Our attorneys have handled hundreds of Motion Hearings and trials, and we have been successful at winning all variety of Motions, resulting in dismissal or reduction of hundreds of DUI cases. Our attorneys are known by cops, prosecutors, and judges alike as being skilled litigators, and our success rate at defending DUI cases at trials is much higher than the average attorney handling DUI cases. But not every case is gifted with good defenses, so we have also developed ways to avoid the most serious consequences of a DUI charge by negotiating favorable plea bargains.
Not every DUI case can be won on motions or at trial, and the Utah Legislature has seriously restricted the ability to plea bargain a DUI case and avoid consequences. As such, in order to get a good plea bargain in a DUI case, it is important to hire an experienced and aggressive attorney who focuses on DUI cases and can gather evidence, identify and raise any available defenses, and file motions in order to get a better plea bargain or get the case dismissed. Likewise, an experienced and aggressive DUI attorney can also be effective at negotiating a favorable plea bargain. The goal of any plea bargain is to avoid as many consequences as possible. By identifying and pointing out potential defenses or other deficiencies in the case, a skilled defense lawyer can use these points to persuade the prosecutor into agreeing to dismiss charges or significantly reduce the charges in order to avoid the most serious consequences, such as driver license suspension, jail, fines, conditions of probation, and a conviction for DUI. Our reputation for being skilled and aggressive DUI litigators who are not afraid to defend DUI cases by filing motions and taking cases to trial allows us to negotiate plea deals that other attorneys simply do not get.
Motions to Suppress
The first way to defend a DUI case is with Motions to Suppress. Motions to Suppress are legal arguments to the judge asking that certain pieces of evidence—and sometimes all of the evidence—be suppressed or excluded from court. Some examples of such motions are:
- Lack of Reasonable Suspicion to Stop
- Illegal or Excessive Detention
- Lack of Probable Cause to Arrest
- Motions to Suppress Breath or Blood Tests
- Motions to Suppress Field Sobriety Test Evidence
- Motion to Suppress Statements for Failure to Provide Miranda Warnings
(See the list of videos on this page for more information about possible defenses.)
Our firm maintains an extensive brief bank containing Motions to Suppress for many different scenarios and fact patterns, and we are constantly looking to expand the arguments for new and differing fact patterns. Winning one or more of these motions can result in a full dismissal of the case, while others just eliminate evidence, which results in more lenient plea bargains or better cases to take to jury trial. All these arguments depend on the specific facts and evidence of your individual case; therefore, we investigate every case thoroughly, obtaining in-car and in-station videotapes, dispatch recordings, breath testing machine calibration and maintenance records, blood and urine test lab files, medical records, accident reports and reconstruction, the arresting officer’s training records, officer training materials as well as conducting on scene investigations witness interviews.
If the case is not dismissed on the Motions to Suppress or plea bargained to the client’s satisfaction, we will have already prepared the case for trial. The vast majority of the DUI cases tried by our firm are tried before a jury. Some attorneys are convinced that a DUI case cannot be won before a Utah jury, but that is not true. Our attorneys have obtained not guilty verdicts in many cases, including refusals, results on a blood or breath test above the legal limit of .08, and even cases involving accidents. The key to successful jury trials is investigation, preparation, and presentation. Clearly not every case goes to trial, but the attorneys at Schatz, Anderson & Associates are not afraid to take even the most difficult cases to trial and will provide you with your best chance for a NOT GUILTY verdict.