A Miscarriage of Justice: Wrongful DUI Convictions in California
Television shows like “Making a Murderer” and groups like the Innocence Project have brought wrongful convictions to the forefront of public consciousness recently. However, many people don’t realize the frequency at which false convictions happen, especially in DUI cases.
Perhaps not fully understanding the harsh consequences of a conviction, many people plead guilty or accept an unfavorable plea bargain in DUI cases. That is why you should hire an experienced DUI attorney if you are facing DUI charges.
Why Wrongful Convictions Happen
There are a number of reasons why wrongful convictions occur in DUI cases. Perhaps the most well-known is false confessions. Police often use tactics to make suspects admit to crimes, and scared individuals can fall victim to these tactics. This is especially true in DUI cases, where police can get individuals to submit to chemical tests and perform field sobriety tests that they are not obligated to.
In 2015, 20% of exonerations were for convictions made on the basis of a false confession.1 However, false confessions are not the most common source of wrongful convictions. Reports show that 40% of wrongful convictions involved police misconduct and improper or faulty forensic evidence. According to the Innocence Project, 70% of exonerations involved cases where eyewitnesses made misidentifications.2
Pressure to Plead Guilty
If you are facing potential jail time, expensive fines and the loss of your driver’s license, would you be willing to risk it by going to trial or are you more likely to accept a plea bargain that includes a lighter punishment? Many people facing DUI charges face this question.
In the U.S., nearly 90% of jury trials result in a guilty verdict.3 This gives prosecutors an enormous amount of leverage when negotiating a plea deal. This also has the unfortunate consequence of scaring defendants. People who have been wrongfully accused of DUI may be willing to plea guilty to a lesser crime in order to avoid the chance of being found guilty at trial.
You do not have to face these severe consequences alone. A skilled DUI lawyer can help you fight DUI charges and avoid a wrongful conviction.
Call the DUI Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you are facing DUI charges, it is best to hire an experienced attorney to handle your case. If you have been falsely convicted of DUI, an attorney may be able to help you appeal your case. At Wallin & Klarich, we have over 30 years of experience successfully helping our clients facing DUI charges. Let us help you now.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, an experienced Wallin & Klarich attorney can help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation. We will be there when you call.
1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/exonerations-2015_us_56ac0374e4b00b033aaf3da9 href=”#ref1″>↩
2. http://www.innocenceproject.org/causes-wrongful-conviction/eyewitness-misidentification href=”#ref2″>↩
3. http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20120129-not-guilty-remains-a-rarity-in-federal-and-state-courts.ece href=”#ref3″>↩