The Connecticut DUI Court Process
The court process for DUI in Connecticut is different for many reasons, and it is important that you understand the process so you can make an informed decision about your defense.
When arrested in Connecticut, it is very likely that you will never see the arresting officer again. Unless you have a trial, they do not need to be in court. In fact, the prosecutor simply gets a report from the police officer and relies on that to build a case against you. The problem is that police officers rarely include points that are good for you as a citizen in their report. They only put the bad stuff in the report, so unless you have the ability to gather evidence, the prosecutor will only be hearing one side of the story – and it isn’t yours.
The prosecutors often will not “negotiate” with you if you are not an attorney. They take the position that they are lawyers, and you are not, so if you want to talk about legal issues they have the knowledge and you do not. Often, if you represent yourself, the prosecutor will simply “make you an offer” and you can take it or leave it. There is no discussing alternatives. That is where a lawyer comes in. A lawyer can point out weaknesses in the case to both the prosecutor and the judge. In fact, unless you are an attorney, you will not be able to get a pretrial with a judge in your case.
During the pretrial process, a lawyer can come to court multiple times to find the right prosecutor who will be understanding of the issues in your case. If you represent yourself, the prosecutors will give you an offer and no other prosecutor will overrule that offer. The process for attorneys is different, and that is one of the reasons why you should have an attorney represent you for your case. Remember, most lawyers and police officers who get arrested for DUI hire a DUI lawyer. There is a reason they do that – to get the best result possible.