If you have an OUI trial and you lose, can you appeal the case? The answer is yes, however, most of the time, drunk driving convictions are tough to overturn on appeal. It takes unusual circumstances to have a case that you can successfully fight after you are found guilty. OUI appears are rarely worth the time, effort, and costs.
Taking a drunk driving charge to trial in the first place is usually a good idea. If you want to beat an OUI case, the best way to win is at trial the first time – either a bench or jury trial. When we fight these cases we beat them at least 2 out of 3 times.
However, if you lose an OUI, the appeals process is very different from the trial process.
First of all, if you lose the judge is going to impose a sentence right away. You are going to have to pay all the fines and court fees, be on probation, lose your driver’s license, and have the conviction on your record. That’s all going to happen up front, while you are waiting at least a year or two for your appeal to make it’s way through the courts.
Secondly, the best you can generally hope for if you win the appeal is that the court overturns the conviction, and gives you a new trial. You are going to have to fight the case all over again, and of course you aren’t guaranteed to win the trial the second time around.
My office doesn’t handle appeals cases, we refer them to other attorneys with lots of experience in appelate court.
When Does An OUI Appeal Make Sense?
If you feel that you have been truly wronged, an appeals process may make sense in some circumstances.
- There was a huge miscarrage of justice. You are absolutely innocent, and you got extremely unlucky with some strange circumstances in court that worked against you.
- The judge, the prosector or your lawyer really messed up. Appeals are not given based on a bad outcome, but a bad process. You were denied your rights by someone else’s mistake during the trial process.
- The outcome was disasterous to you. If the conviction and criminal record is ruinous to your life, even two years after it’s over, it might be worth taking a shot at getting it overturned.
The Appeals process is a narrow specialty of law, so you need to speak to someone with the right experience in appelate court to assess your case, and let you know if you really have a good chance at winning on appeal.
If your concern is protecting your records and even though you may have already paid the penalty a year or two later and you win the appeal, then it will be off your record. There is value in that, but for most people, the costs, and likelihood of success don’t make sense to justify the effort in appealing the conviction.
If you decide to appeal the case, you need to be very careful to get the best appeals attorney you can find.
Call me now for a free consultation and a referral on an OUI appelate case.
Attorney Russell Matson
(781)380-7730 – 24 hours a day