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Should I take my Los Angeles DUI Case to Trial?

  • September 4, 2017

    When you face a drunk driving charge, you have to make a number of decisions as your case moves through the court. You may have to decide whether to ask for changes in your bond conditions. You may have to determine whether to approach the state’s attorney in order to negotiate a plea deal. Whether or not you secure a plea deal, you need to decide whether to take your case to trial.

    Getting the best possible outcome in your case doesn’t always mean going to trial. It’s up to you to work with your attorney in order to evaluate all of the evidence against you and any plea offers that you receive in the case. In fact, one important function of an experienced criminal defense DUI lawyer is to help you evaluate the evidence in order to help you determine the best course of action.

    To evaluate whether you should take your case to trial, it’s important to start by looking at the state’s evidence. First, you should determine if the law enforcement officer had a reason to stop your vehicle. They must have reasonable belief to think that you might be committing a crime or some other traffic violation in order to stop your vehicle. You can evaluate the reason the police gave in your case to justify the vehicle stop.

    If they had lawful grounds for the stop, the next step is to look at the evidence against you. It’s important to evaluate the case to see if law enforcement properly conducted field sobriety tests. If they didn’t give the right tests, or if they gave the tests improperly, you may be able to argue to the court that the results of the tests are not a reliable indicator of your levels of intoxication.

    You should also evaluate how law enforcement gave you the chemical test in your case. They should have read you your chemical test rights. They need to wait for a period of time before they give you the test to make sure that the test doesn’t produce a false reading. If they don’t do these things, you can ask the judge to throw out the charges, or you can ask the jury to find you not guilty.

    When you evaluate your case, consider how a jury might look at the evidence. If the state has evidence that meets the basic elements of a DUI offense, you need to have a solid defense. You might need to bring an expert witness to explain why your behavior wasn’t consistent with drunk driving or explain how the state made errors in their investigations.

    There are a number of reasons why it may not be a good idea to take your case to trial. In many cases, the state offers plea deals even when the evidence against you is strong. They do this in order to juggle their busy caseload. They couldn’t possibly take every one of their cases to trial, so they offer plea deals to move cases off their plate.

    You might be able to use this to your advantage. If you’re willing to take a plea, they might be willing to offer you a plea to a reduced charge. In some cases, they can give you a plea that’s less serious than drunk driving. They might offer you a plea that reduces or eliminates jail time. If you have prior offenses, they might reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor. In almost all cases, a plea offer lowers the amount of fines that you might have to pay.

    When you accept a plea, you know what to expect. You can prepare to go into court, enter your plea and accept your sentence. Going to trial is expensive. In many cases, taking a drunk driving offense to trial requires hiring an expert witness. This can cost a few thousand dollars. This money might be better spent paying your fines.

    If you choose to accept a plea offer, you can also save time. In most cases, you can enter a plea and resolve a case several weeks earlier than you can get a trial in front of a jury. The sooner your start probation, the sooner you finish probation and get back to your life. This allows you to put the matter behind you as soon as possible.

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