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Appealing Your Drunk Driving Conviction

Can I appeal my drunk driving conviction?

  You have just been found guilty of drunk driving and given your drunk driving sentence. This is upsetting news that could alter your life for some time. What options do you have if you and your drunk driving attorney believe that your DUI conviction was obtained through error? You can file an appeal. By filing this appeal, you ask a higher court to examine your drunk driving case and the processes surrounding it. They are looking for any errors that were made that contributed to an erroneous drunk driving conviction or unfair sentencing.

When should I appeal a Drunk Driving Conviction?

  Different states have different timelines. Many states give you only 7-10 days after your drunk driving conviction to notify the court of your intention to appeal. Although the appeal must be filed in short order, the actual appeals process takes several months from start to finish. It is imperative that you speak with your DUI attorney shortly after your drunk driving conviction and decide if an appeal is appropriate.

What is involved in the drunk driving appeals process?

  You must argue that due to legal error (s), the jury’s decision was affected in a negative way. The same could also be said if a legal mistake influenced the drunk driving sentencing. Your DUI attorney should state in the appeal if he believes your case should be dismissed, or if you deserve a new trial, or a re-sentencing. It is important to note that the higher court will not consider any new DUI evidence. They will only examine the lower court’s drunk driving case and legal procedures used against you. They will study the court’s transcripts and examine any items that were admitted into evidence. When you challenge the drunk driving conviction, your DUI attorney will file a brief with the court. The Prosecutor will file his own brief with the court saying why the state stands behind the drunk driving conviction and sentencing. In most states, you will have the opportunity to file a second brief with the court countering the Prosecutor’s brief against you. In some cases, the court may call both sides in to hear oral arguments before they reach their verdict.

What can I do during the Drunk Driving appeal process?

  You could join an alcohol education program while you are waiting for your appeal to be decided. Not only could you learn something that could help you, but it would leave a good impression on the court. It shows that you are taking hold of your life and working to avoid any mishaps in the future.

Possible defenses to use during your drunk driving appeal

  Maybe your original DUI attorney did not represent you properly. Your new attorney can highlight the inadequacies of your former drunk driving lawyer and explain how you were adversely affected. If you were not told your rights before police conducted your chemical test, then you could use this to challenge your license suspension. In most states, police must explain that you have a right to refuse and then tell you the consequences if you do refuse. If you have recently been convicted of drunk driving and believe you have a good chance at an appeal, you should contact an experienced DUI attorney in your area immediately to examine your drunk driving case.
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