It is true that not every DUI case is the same. Each case has its good and bad points. But the strategy surrounding the defense of drunk driving cases is common. Your attorney will try to find as much information as possible to find out if the case will actually go to trial; and if so, what are the chances of prevailing. Defense attorneys use a number of methods to obtain this information. This post will focus on the subtle cues that will tell a defense lawyer what the prosecution thinks of its case.
How much discovery is done – Prosecutors are not likely to put the same amount of effort into discovery with every case. A prosecutor who has worked to create a huge portfolio is probably thinking that the case is going to go to trial. Conversely, if there is little discovery (or little has been provided) chances are that the prosecutor believes the case will settle.
What does the prosecutor say at the outset – Normally prosecutors will reveal their opening offer and insist that it is their final offer, as if to say “there’s nothing else I can do…take it or leave it.” There may be a sense of gamesmanship here, but a prosecutor who truly believes in his or her case will provide details to support their position.
Pre-trial tones – A prosecutor who takes a hard line at pretrial, after discussing some of the fine points of the case, likely feels confident about his or her position. If there is a more conciliatory tone where there are statements about “potential” harm, chances are that there is room for negotiation and settlement.