If you have been accused of driving under the influence (DUI), you find yourself in a difficult position. Because a DUI is a serious crime, one of the many choices that you will need to make is to go to trial to try to fight your case or to instead admit to the crime and forgo a jury trial. Before you make such an important, potentially life-altering decision, you should get to know some of the facts that you should know and consider before you take your DUI case to trial. That way, you and your DUI attorney can make the best possible choice for you and your situation.
Making a Plea Agreement May Reduce Your Charges
When you choose to forgo an actual jury trial and plea no contest or guilty to the crime, there is a chance that your DUI attorney will be able to negotiate with the state's prosecutor to reduce your charges. For example, if you have a DUI charge that is aggravated (your blood alcohol is especially high) or you have additional charges on top of the DUI charge, you may be able to get some of the charges reduced or dropped altogether.
The fewer crimes you have on your record and the lower the severity of those crimes, the lower the impact on your life. Multiple charges, particularly if any are felonies, can have an impact on your ability to work in certain career fields or get a job at all, as well as have other consequences. As such, making a plea deal rather than risking a conviction to all of the crimes or more severe crimes.
A Jury May Be More Inclined to Trust Law Enforcement Than Your Version of Events
While juries are selected to be as unbiased as possible, when the DUI case boils down to your version of the story versus that of the police officers on the scene, it can be difficult for them to remain as such. Members of law enforcement are often thought of as experts in their field, particularly in assessing sobriety and performing on-the-scene breathalyzer tests.
Because of this, their testimony will likely be given more weight than yours, and you will be fighting an uphill battle to convince the jury of your innocence. Be sure that you have strong and potentially irrefutable evidence that you are innocent of the crime or that the situation was mishandled if you are planning to go toe-to-toe with law-enforcement officers as witnesses. If you do not, you run a high risk of losing your case and facing harsher sentencing.
With these factors in mind, you can better come to a decision regarding how you are going to handle your DUI case going forward.