Realistically, DUI cases sometimes do not go to trial often enough. Many different things can come up with DUIs. One of the things that we see a lot is any time it is a first time DUI, if the plea offer is to plead to the charge, you really do not have that much more to lose by going to trial. The potential is out there to receive a harsher penalty, but in reality many times that is not going to happen. The unfortunate thing is when it is a DUI case there are many issues involved. Often times the prosecutor may make an offer to a non-DUI resolution, and many clients want to try, and avoid the risk of a DUI trial.
It is not very often that they go to trial, but we try to encourage cases that should go to trial go to trial.
Is It True That Many DUI Attorneys Avoid Taking A DUI Case To Trial?
Yes, many attorneys do not want to go to trial on DUI cases. We have seen this couple of different ways. Sometimes an attorney will offer a flat fee, and then they will include the trial in that flat fee. If the trial outcome is going to be the same thing that the plea agreement is, then you save time by not going to trial, which would essentially cost you more money as an attorney. We do not do that, we have a trial fee, which sometimes means that the client would want to avoid that payment, and would rather take the plea.
Most of them have are backed up by science statistics, which makes them a little bit difficult. Sometimes it is just an ego thing. Some attorneys may not want to go to trial and have to say that they lost a DUI trial, but that happens. You have to get over it, so that you can be better and win these trials the next time.
What Criteria Do You Consider When Deciding Whether Or Not To Take A DUI Case To Trial?
It depends on the legal issues. Some problems that are considered include physical control issues, meaning whether the state can prove that our client was actually driving the car. There is a litany of issues with the blood testing, and the different problems that can happen with that process. There is also the ability to cross-examine the officer on the different field sobriety tests if the client took those tests when the stop occurred.
Ultimately, it is always up to the client as to whether or not they are going to take up a plea offer or if they want to go to trial, but there are some factors that we do take into account. If the client has any other criminal history, and if they have a bad driving history, the state may try to offer a harsher penalty at trial. Again, if the plea offer is to plead to the charge, our general consensus is you might as well go to trial and fight. Problems come up at trial that you never can really prepare for and that is the thing we want to capitalize on.
If A Client Is Not Satisfied With The Plea Offer Do You Simply Take The Case To Trial?
Yes, if a client is not satisfied with the plea offer, we can go to trial. Some clients will say I do not like my plea offer; I want to go to trial. The first step is to make sure they fully understand that, because they want to go to trial does not mean that they are going to win. It does not mean they are going to get a better outcome than what their plea agreement would have been. As we mentioned before, it certainly is a constitutional right to be able to take your case to trial. We have seen clients become frustrated and feel as though whoever was representing them previously, just wanted them to take a plea and did not put in the work necessary. Sometimes the science is there, and it is a sound case against you. The plea offer may be your best case, or to say, if you want to go to trial and you understand the potential outcomes, that is your ride. It is your ability to go to trial. Let just do it.
Do Most People Understand What Is Entailed In A DUI Trial?
Most people do not know what is involved with a DUI trial. Unless you have been there before, it is nothing like the trials you see on TV. There is actually more preparation than one might believe. There are many different things that the officer can mess up on in the initial stop. The officers can mess up on when they gather scientific evidence to prove that you were impaired to the slightest degree or when they were gathering the blood evidence. There are experts that come in to testify, and the ability to cross-examine those experts or to present experts of your own to combat what the state’s evidence is. It is different from what people are used to, even if they have been in the justice system before. With other cases it is a much more shortened process. When you have a DUI trial it is a much lengthier process than just a normal misdemeanor trial because of all the issues involved.
For more information on DUI Trials In Arizona, a free initial consultation with a DUI Lawyer is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (480) 400-1355 today.