Once you are free on bail after a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest, several big moves lie ahead. When it comes to DUI matters, three outcomes are possible. Read on to find out more about each and then speak to a criminal law attorney to learn which one is best for you.
Plead Guilty With a Plea Bargain
Most people avoid pleading guilty because of the potentially dire consequences and things can get ugly for those convicted of DUI. You might be jailed, fined, lose your driving privileges, and be left with a criminal record. That being said, plea bargains are how almost all criminal cases are deposed. With a plea bargain, the defendant agrees to a guilty plea and foregoes a trial entirely. It cuts things short and, sometimes, the defendant gets a good deal. That might mean a lesser sentence than if the case goes to trial. Close consultation with your lawyer can tell you what might be in store if you go that route.
Fight the Charges
It's a constitutional right to take your case to court and be judged by a jury of your peers. Some cases seem custom-made for a court battle. The decision to go to court and fight the DUI charges hinges on the nature of the arrest and the evidence. Your defense lawyer can use the following to undermine the state's case so that you will be found innocent:
- Lack of grounds for making the DUI stop.
- Inappropriate behavior by law enforcement during the stop.
- Inaccurate breathalyzer and/or field sobriety results.
- Chain of evidence issues with blood or urine testing.
Get the Charges Dropped
While not all defendants can expect to be so fortunate, some prosecutors will drop DUI charges under certain circumstances. These rare cases happen when the state's evidence is weak and it's obvious that law enforcement failed to make a legal stop or arrest. It costs the state money and time to prosecute cases, and often just the presence of a private attorney for the defendant will cause a closer examination of the evidence. Most defendants don't realize what it takes to bring a case and that is where the experience of a lawyer who has worked with DUI cases comes in.
Be sure to talk to a local defense lawyer who is familiar with how the court system works in your town. You might be surprised at how often cases can be dropped or deals made that keep defendants from suffering the worst of the punishments possible for a DUI arrest. Speak to a criminal defense attorney to learn more.