May 17, 2023 | DUI
While being charged with driving under the influence (DUI/OWI) is undoubtedly a serious matter, many may not realize that most such cases never go to trial. Instead, the majority of defendants have their cases resolved through plea bargaining. This occurs for various reasons, as we discuss below.
Some Lawyers Aren’t Confident in Taking DUI Cases To Trial
Some lawyers don’t bring DUI cases to trial because they lack the confidence to do so. Trials can be unpredictable, and even experienced attorneys can hesitate to take on the risk of a “guilty” verdict.
DUI Trials and Sentences Are Unpredictable
One of the primary reasons why most DUI cases do not go to trial is that trials are unpredictable. Going to trial can be a costly endeavor with no guaranteed outcome. Often, the prosecution has strong evidence against the defendant, making the chances of a successful defense unlikely.
If you’re found guilty at trial, the judge has the power to impose strict penalties. If you accept a plea deal, your sentence can be drastically reduced, avoiding mandatory minimum terms and other severe punishments that might come from a trial.
Trials Take Longer
Many defendants do not want to wait months or even years for their cases to be heard in court. This is especially true when a plea bargain is an option. By resolving the matter quickly with a plea bargain, defendants can reduce the time, stress, and overall cost associated with a DUI charge.
When is Trial the Better Option?
Facing a DUI charge can be a frightening and overwhelming experience. When you are in this situation, it can be tempting to accept any plea deal that the prosecutor offers for fear of what might happen if you take your case to trial.
However, sometimes it is in your best interest to fight the charges and take your case to court. The following are some of the most common reasons a defendant would take their DUI case to trial:
1. You Have a Viable Defense
The first reason to consider taking your DUI case to trial is if you have a viable defense. This could come in the form of a motion to suppress evidence. If your attorney can successfully argue that the police violated your constitutional rights when they stopped or arrested you, the evidence against you may be thrown out.
Similarly, if the chemical testing was not performed correctly or the equipment was malfunctioning, the results may be called into question. In either case, if you have a defense that could result in your charges being dropped or an acquittal, it may be worth taking your case to trial.
2. The Prosecutor Isn’t Offering a Good Deal
Another reason to consider taking your DUI case to trial is if the prosecutor isn’t offering a good deal. In some cases, the prosecutor may not offer a plea bargain at all or may offer a deal that is not in your best interest. For example, they may be unwilling to reduce the charges or offer a reduced sentence. In these cases, going to trial may be your best option.
3. You Don’t Want to Plead Guilty to Something You Didn’t Do
Regardless of the outcome at trial, some people do not want to plead guilty to something they didn’t do. It’s understandable why someone would feel this way. Accepting a plea deal means admitting guilt, even if it’s for a lesser charge. If you believe you are not guilty of the charges against you, taking your case to trial can be a way to clear your name.
Contact an Indianapolis DUI Attorney for Help With Your Case
Facing a DUI charge isn’t something anyone wants to experience. For help with a DUI charge, contact an Indianapolis criminal defense attorney today for a free consultation.
For more information, contact the DUI attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC give us a call today at 317) 759-2599 or visit us at our Indianapolis law office.
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Indianapolis
101 W Ohio St #2000
Indianapolis, In 46204