The Prosecutor's Role in a Drunk Driving Case
Prosecution refers to the government's role in the criminal justice system. When criminal activity is suspected, it is often up to the government to investigate, arrest, charge, and bring the alleged offender to trial. Prosecutors are the lawyers who work for the government and who are responsible for developing and presenting the government's case against a defendant. Prosecutors may be called county attorneys, city attorneys, or district attorneys.
The prosecutor is the opponent or "adversary" of the criminal defendant and his or her attorney; the two sides go head-to-head against each other in court. Because these public attorneys focus their energies on prosecuting criminal cases, they are generally very experienced in criminal law, and it is therefore essential to have an experienced defense attorney. Thus, in order to best preserve a criminal defendant's rights and strike a fair balance in court, representation by an experienced criminal defense attorney, particularly one knowledgeable in drunk driving law, is a must.
Prosecutors Decide Whether to Pursue Drunk Driving Cases in Court
A prosecutor becomes involved in a criminal case in one of two ways: referral from the police who have investigated, arrested, searched, and processed an alleged offender; or through a grand jury proceeding. Drunk driving cases generally make their way to the prosecutor via the police-the first method described.
In making the decision to go forward with a case, the prosecutor considers three things: whether the case is legally sound, whether it can be proved, and the relevant policy considerations. If the prosecutor decides not to go forward with a case, the case will be over, no matter how much any alleged victim or the police, or even the court, may want the alleged offender prosecuted.
The prosecutor must be assured that there is enough reliable evidence to prove the drunk driving charge before he or she will bring the case to trial. In other words, if the Breathalyzer machine was malfunctioning or if the test results were lost, the prosecutor may decide