All New Jersey drunk driving defendants have the legal right to defend themselves in court against the allegations being brought against them. The decision to defend oneself will largely rest on the facts and evidence the prosecution is bringing forward. If the facts and evidence are strongly against the defendant, for example, he or she might want to try to negotiate a plea bargain.
In some DUI defense matters, however, the prosecution’s case will be shaky at best, and the defendant might choose to take the case all the way to trial. During trial, defendants will have several defense options that could become available related to the rules of evidence and procedure.
For example, let’s say that the prosecution tries to introduce video footage as evidence, but has not obtained appropriate testimony from the officer who was present when the video was taken. It’s possible that an evidentiary rule was violated here, and the defendant could move to block the evidence from consideration.
It’s risky for both the prosecution and the defense to go to trial. If a procedural mistake is made, for example, the prosecution could lose its case against the defendant. Meanwhile, a defendant who is innocent could be at risk of conviction if the prosecution can weave the facts and evidence in such a way to make the defendant appear guilty.
Due to the risk of conviction and severe criminal consequences, defendants accused of drunk driving in New Jersey may want to consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney before they decide which strategies to employ while navigating the criminal justice system.