How Do You Defend Complex DUI Cases?
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious criminal offense under Missouri law. The offense involves drunk driving or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other intoxicating substance. Anyone found guilty of this crime may face several penalties upon conviction, including driver’s license suspension, imprisonment, or payment of fines.
DWI prosecution proceeds without public notice most of the time. But sometimes, cases may attract extra public attention. There are several reasons why this could happen, as we shall see shortly. But the issue with such high-profile cases is that they present a unique set of challenges that could work against the defendant.
If you’re the defendant in a high-profile DWI case, you will soon find that the public and media attention on your case could complicate things and make your case more difficult.
As your case proceeds, you will need to take positive steps to manage the situation in and out of court. The public perception of your case could affect the outcome of your trial; as such, ignoring that aspect would likely work against you.
To come out on top, you might need to get professional help from a competent criminal defense lawyer who can handle the complex dynamics of your case.
When selecting a criminal defense attorney or law firm, it is important that you consider getting one who understands how DWI laws work and how to manage the public attention on your case and possibly turn it around for your benefit.
While you consider your options, read on as we explain important facts about high-profile DWI litigation and related strategies that could help you manage the situation as you prepare your defense.
When Does a DWI Case Become High Profile?
A DWI case becomes high-profile when it generates significant or extraordinary public interest. This usually happens in certain circumstances, including the following:
- The defendant is a popular or public figure. In such cases, the public will naturally want to be aware of their trial, just as they’re interested in other aspects of their life.
- Multi-vehicle accidents can cause severe injuries to many victims. Because several individuals and families may have been affected by such accidents, a DWI charge related to such an incident would likely generate much public interest.
- DWI cases involving the death of the victim (s) are also likely to spark public discussions and sentiments.
These cases gain traction in mainstream and social media, leading the public to form opinions about the case, sometimes even before the trial starts.
The Challenge of Defending Complex, High-Profile Criminal Cases
The U.S. criminal justice system operates on the premise that every accused person is innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution bears the burden of establishing the accused person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before the judge and jury.
The jury decides whether the accused is guilty and must remain unbiased. But remember, jury members are members of the public too. They may have seen reports about the case and may have formed a negative opinion about the defendant even before the trial starts, which could lead to a wrongful conviction.
Even if you’re found not guilty by the jury, your reputation may be negatively affected. This means you have to work twice as hard to control the public’s perception of the case and set up a formidable defense in court at the same time.
Techniques for Managing Complex and High-Profile DWI Cases
Some strategies that you could use to manage the complications of your case include the following:
Control the Narrative
Influenced by the media, the public may have a different version of the events leading to your charge or a different interpretation of the facts surrounding your case. You need to control the narrative by ensuring your voice is heard. You could release official statements periodically to address any pending issues.
You can also get professional help from a public relations professional to handle this aspect of your case. They can help you put out your version of events and clarify any inaccuracies in the media.
Remove Jurors Who May Be Biased
Your criminal defense lawyer will have the chance to scrutinize the individuals selected to serve as jurors. If your lawyer believes that any jury member would likely be biased against you, they can have them removed from your case.
Restrain Parties From Revealing Details About the Case to the Public
Sometimes the prosecution or any other party may communicate prejudicial information to the media and members of the public. An experienced defense attorney may be able to stop that by getting the court to issue a gag order on all the parties. Any party who violates the gag order would face serious legal penalties.
Monitor Public Opinion
It is important that you understand what the public believes about your case. This could help you formulate your responses to any issues that could damage your case.
You may need to avoid public scrutiny and loud events to avoid public backlash, especially if someone got hurt in your DWI case. The public would likely not be impressed seeing you out and about having fun when the victim of the DWI is probably still receiving medical attention.
A lot of controversial or false information is often circulating while a high-profile case is ongoing. If the media spreads false information about you, you can commence a defamation lawsuit to hold all the parties involved accountable and prevent further damage to your reputation.
There are many other possible strategies you could deploy to manage your high-profile case. But the most beneficial plan you could have is to get a top-tier defense attorney to represent you. They can help you formulate more working strategies to address issues as they arise in court and with the public.
Get Help With Your High Profile DWI Case at the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center
If you have further questions about your DWI criminal charges or need help handling all the complex aspects of your high-profile case, contact our legal team at the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center.
We are a firm of outstanding DWI and criminal defense attorneys with many years of experience. Our accomplished attorneys understand the needs of high-profile clients and the complexities of high-profile criminal defense cases. You can rely on us to defend your interests and work towards a positive outcome.
Our federal criminal lawyer can also offer quality legal representation if you’re dealing with federal criminal charges. You can trust us to advocate for you and defend you aggressively every step of the way.
Send us a message to schedule a consultation and get started.