Can my DUI conviction be overturned?
What can be done to overturn a DUI conviction?
You have been arrested, now have a DUI conviction, and you are wondering if you have the ability to get this conviction overturned. The first thing to understand is that there are muliple levels of the court system, and you have been convicted in the lower court. To have your DUI conviction overturned, you will need to be seen before a judge in a higher court by filing an Appeal. Certain criteria must be met in order for this to be successful, and some of those include (but are not limited to) errors made in the trial court by the judge, the lawyers, or the jurors in the DUI trial case. These errors are usually made unintentionally, and must be found to be egregious enough to warrant a dismisal of the DUI conviction.
What type of errors could have been made?
One such error may be allowing evidence to be admitted at the DUI trial, though a procedural rule that protects you was ignored, like evidence gained when you had the Constitutional right to remain silent or should not have been arrested in the first place.
Other examples may include:
- the trial Court imporperly applied the wrong law within its jury instructions
- the sentence was too harsh for the crime in violation of the law
- improper jury instruction that mislead the jury or the confused them
- evidence that may have exonerated you was not turned over to you
- new evidence has become available that would exonerate you
- your trial attorney may have been inadequate with respect to representing you and caused the reason for your conviction sentence
What does an Appeal do for my DUI conviction?
This Appeal of your DUI conviction offers you the opportunity to see justice a second time, where an error is found and the trial Court's decision is able to be overturned or even reversed. Should the conviction be overturned, you may be eligible to have your sentence reduced or receive a new trial. For you to correctly appeal your DUI conviciton, you will need to file a Notice of Appeal within 30 days of the verdict. A felony DUI conviction allows for more time but both Misdemeanor DUI and Felony DUI conviciton follow a strict set of guidelines.
What is the difference between a Misdemeanor DUI and a Felony DUI?
The Appeals Court will not hear an Appeal where the timelines are not strictly followed. When charged with a Felony DUI, seeking to overturn it will require a lot of time to prepare for the Appeal process. It is complex, involves many hours of research and Motion writing. It usually requres more than an entire year to both draft and prepare the Appeal. If you lose your Appeal, it may be taken to your State's Supreme Court, however those circumstances may or may not fit into the right criteria to be accepted for your case to be overturned.
How do I know if an Appeal is my only option?
The DUI Appeals process is very long and detailed, with the time and effort spent driving the cost of litigation very high. It is important to note here, that there are certain cases in which an Appeal is your only option. An example would be if you were convicted of multiple felony DUI's or manslaughter. The amount of prison time you would likely be requred to serve in this case makes your Appeal of the underlying DUI conviction an only option for a chance to restore you to a normal life. DUI charges and convictions are very serious, and they effect your life in many respects for many years. It is in your abslolute best interest to secure an experienced and reliable attorney, who is capable of explaining all your options due to your specific circumstances and is fully aware of the requirements with your particular case and State. You will find that there are many attorneys who are willing to offer you a free consultation where both you and the attorney are able to decide if you are a good fit together to seek the successful overturn of your DUI conviction.
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