Driving under the influence (DUI) convictions have many consequences, but being sent to jail is one of the most feared. However, you don't have to go to jail if charged and convicted of a DUI. Take these three measures to increase your chances of staying out of jail:
One way of avoiding jail time is by pleading guilty to a lesser charge than the one the prosecution originally charged you with. Such an arrangement entitles you to a reduced sentence; for example, you may be sentenced to community service. The government benefits by having one less criminal case to process through the overcrowded jails and the overburdened criminal justice system.
It's not advisable to approach a plea bargain without your lawyer's involvement though. There are vital things you may not know about the process, and the ignorance may cost you dearly. For example, the prosecutor may pressure you to accept a lesser deal compared to what a lawyer may get for you.
Attend DUI Classes
One of the penalties for a DUI conviction is getting ordered to attend DUI classes, which are meant to rehabilitate you and teach you the dangers of alcohol addiction. However, you don't have to wait for a court order to attend such classes. Taking the initiative to attend DUI classes will help your case; it shows the court your seriousness and desire for rehabilitation. Your attorney may use the information to argue for a reduced sentence, possibly one that doesn't involve getting incarcerated.
Challenge Every Aspect of the Police Report
The police report is the spine of the prosecutor's case against you. It contains the official narrative of why you were arrested, as well as the evidence (such as the field sobriety tests) the officers collected. Therefore, you can weaken the charges against you substantially if you can challenge it successfully.
The stronger the evidence against you is, the more likely you are to go to jail if arrested. Consider a situation in which the arresting officer has evidence that you failed the field sobriety tests, your blood alcohol content (BAC) was above the legal limit, and there are witnesses who can testify as to your erratic driving. That would make a strong case unless you can challenge the different aspects of the case; for example, by bringing doubt into the manner in which your BAC was measured or unveiling a witness who testifies to your sobriety.
For more tips, visit a criminal defense attorney like Law Offices of Michael K. Tasker.