Helpful Tips To Interacting With Your Judge In Houston
Facing DUI charges is always a frightening experience, and the day will come when you will head to court to deal with the situation. Bear in mind that the way you conduct yourself during that time will prove critical to the outcome of your case. Given that the stakes are quite high under such circumstances, it pays to know exactly what should be said to the judge — and what should not. No matter if you are seeking an acquittal or are hoping to achieve a plea agreement, a judge will listen to your side of the story and use that information to decide what to do. Though a skilled DUI lawyer is a tremendous ally to have at this time, making sure you are prepared in advance can help you fight for a more desirable outcome.
When the time comes for your sentence to be issued, you will be asked if there is anything you wish to say on your own behalf. While some may opt to remain silent at this time, taking the opportunity to say something strategic may be a smart move.
1. Express Regret
Every judge wants to know that you have true remorse for the actions that brought you to their court. Attempting to excuse or minimize the behavior is always a bad idea, and it could make your situation worse. Be careful to convey that you are not regretful about being caught, but rather for the unlawful conduct itself. Tell the judge you want to take responsibility for what occurred.
2. Provide Some Background Details
A skilled DUI lawyer will be able to convey certain key information to the judge about you and your case during the formal proceedings. But, when you have a chance to speak, take the opportunity to add some details about your situation. If you have struggled with a substance use problem in the past, be upfront about it, and express a willingness to work on it.
3. Shed Light On Positive Aspects Of The Scenario
Though you may be hard-pressed to find any positive elements to what is happening, think carefully, and you just might. Let the judge know that the ordeal has been a learning experience for you and that you have no intention of repeating the problematic conduct.
4. Handle Anticipated Sentencing Requirements Prior to Court
If it is expected that your judge will impose alcohol or drug treatment courses in your sentence, take the initiative and register and complete them on your own accord in advance. Make sure you let the judge know that you have done this when you appear in court. This ensures that you give a positive impression of someone who is willing to make changes, and it may even lessen the penalties you receive.
5. Vow To Change
Pledging to the judge that you will not repeat the conduct in question will convey the appropriate sense of remorse. If you are sincere in your presentation, and you are not a repeat offender, the judge might consider lowering your sentence. But, remember that this is a promise that you need to keep. Everything you say will be put into the record, and if you find yourself before that judge again for a similar offense, you will have no remaining credibility.