What to Say to Judge at Dui Sentencing

Title: What to Say to the Judge at DUI Sentencing


Being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) can have severe consequences, including potential fines, license suspension, probation, and even imprisonment. At the sentencing hearing, it is crucial to present yourself in a respectful and remorseful manner, while also effectively communicating your circumstances and commitment to change. This article aims to provide guidance on what to say to the judge at DUI sentencing, ensuring that your words are impactful and potentially influence the outcome of your case.

I. Understanding the Sentencing Process:

1. Be Prepared: Prior to the sentencing hearing, gather all relevant documents, such as character references, proof of completion of alcohol education programs, and any evidence that supports your case.

2. Show Remorse: Begin by expressing genuine regret for your actions. Acknowledge the potential harm you could have caused and emphasize that you have learned from this experience.

3. Demonstrate Awareness: Highlight your understanding of the seriousness of drunk driving and its potential consequences. Explain how this incident has changed your perspective on alcohol consumption and driving.

4. Highlight Personal Growth: Discuss the steps you have taken since the incident to better yourself, such as attending counseling or rehabilitation programs, enrolling in alcohol education classes, or joining support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous.

5. Present Supportive Network: If applicable, mention the positive influence of family, friends, or mentors who have been instrumental in your recovery journey. Emphasize the importance of their support and guidance.

6. Discuss Employment and Community Contributions: Share information about your employment status, emphasizing its significance in your life. Discuss your active participation in community service, volunteer work, or any other positive contributions you have made.

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II. Addressing the Judge:

1. Address the Court with Respect: Begin by addressing the judge as “Your Honor” and maintain a respectful tone throughout your statement.

2. Speak Clearly and Calmly: Ensure your words are audible, concise, and well-articulated. Take a moment to gather your thoughts before speaking to avoid stumbling or appearing disoriented.

3. Be Honest and Sincere: Present your case truthfully, avoiding any exaggerations or attempts to downplay your actions. Honesty is crucial in conveying your willingness to accept responsibility.

4. Express Understanding of the Consequences: Clearly articulate your awareness of the potential penalties associated with your actions. Show the judge that you understand the gravity of your offense and are committed to making amends.

5. Show Commitment to Personal Growth: Explain the steps you have taken to address any underlying issues related to alcohol use and driving. Mention any counseling, therapy, or rehabilitation programs you have completed or plan to undertake.

6. Request Leniency: If appropriate, respectfully request the judge to consider a reduced sentence, alternative sentencing options, or the possibility of attending a DUI diversion program, if available.


1. Can I apologize to the judge for my actions during the sentencing?

Yes, expressing genuine remorse and apologizing to the judge can positively impact your case. It demonstrates accountability and a willingness to learn from your mistakes.

2. Should I mention my personal struggles or hardships during the sentencing?

It is generally advisable to share any relevant personal struggles or hardships that might have contributed to your actions. However, avoid using them as excuses and instead focus on how you have taken steps to address these challenges.

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3. Is it necessary to hire an attorney for DUI sentencing?

While hiring an attorney is not mandatory, it is highly recommended. A skilled attorney can provide guidance, help prepare your defense, and present your case in the most favorable light.


When facing DUI sentencing, it is crucial to approach the judge with honesty, remorse, and a clear demonstration of personal growth. By following the suggestions outlined in this article, you can effectively communicate your commitment to change, potentially influencing the outcome of your case. Remember, every situation is unique, and seeking professional legal advice is essential to ensure you make the best possible presentation in court.