When Would a DUI Case Go To Trial?

man handcuffed by his car after DUI

Criminal cases are generally handled in one of two ways: through plea bargaining or with a trial. Many individuals accept a plea bargain. However, some individuals choose to go through a trial. Let’s discuss when a DUI case may be settled through a trial.

Types of DUI Trials

If the driver chooses to go to trial, they will then be able to choose if they want a trial by judge or jury. Trial by judge means that the judge will make the decision on the outcome of the case. Trial by jury will involve multiple jurors and will generally take longer.

Most defendants choose trial by judge for their DUI case.

Factors That Influence Whether or Not to Go to Trial

It will be up to the defendant whether or not they want to stand trial. However, there are some factors that will likely influence this decision.

The Evidence Against The Driver

Arguably the biggest factor in determining whether or not to go to trial is the evidence that the prosecution has against the driver. If the evidence is very strong, a DUI defense attorney may advise their client not to go through trial or instead accept a plea bargain. However, if the evidence is weak or questionable, a DUI defense attorney may advise their client to go through a trial so they can refute the evidence and work to obtain a not guilty verdict or other positive outcome.

A DUI defense attorney may challenge evidence in court by questioning:

  • Accuracy of breath test results
  • Police officer credentials and training
  • The legality of the stop
  • Probable cause for arrest

The Offered Plea Deal

Plea bargains are made for the benefit of both the prosecution and the defendant. The prosecutors may offer the defendant a lesser charge or other benefits in exchange for them pleading guilty and forgoing trial. This saves both parties time and effort.

If the prosecutors offer a good deal, the driver’s defense attorney may advise that they accept it rather than risk trial. However, if the deal is not as good as what the attorney believes the driver could get from going to trial, the attorney may advise their client to decline the deal and continue with their case.

Rancho Cucamonga DUI Defense

Our attorneys at Newman & Allen can help guide you through your DUI defense case. We aren’t scared to go to trial for our clients, and we work diligently to secure the best possible result for each person we represent. Reach our team at (909) 328-6101 or click here to request a case consultation.