Were you recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Orange County, California? If so, your arraignment will be coming up in the near future. But, what is an arraignment exactly? After a criminal defendant has been arrested and charged with a crime, the arraignment, a criminal proceeding will soon follow.
During the arraignment, a judge officially informs a defendant of their criminal charges and he or she asks the defendant how they plea. The defendant will respond with guilty, not guilty, or no contest to their DUI charges.
If the defendant automatically pleads guilty (we don’t recommend this), he or she will be sentenced, ordered to DUI probation, and their DUI case will be closed, with the exception of satisfactorily completing their probation terms.
What if I Plead Not Guilty?
If you want to fight your DUI charges and actually have a chance at getting your penalties reduced or your case dismissed, you’re better off pleading not guilty. By pleading “not guilty,” your Orange County DUI attorney has the opportunity to comb through the evidence, look for holes in the prosecution’s case, and challenge the evidence against you.
Types of evidence that can be challenged include:
- Police officer testimony
- Chemical test evidence
- The traffic stop
- Search and seizure methods
- And more
About DUI Plea Bargains
The circumstances of each DUI case are unique, so there is no “one size fits all approach” to defending DUI. For example, if a defendant’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was close to .08% and the evidence against our client is substantial, it may be in our client’s best interests to negotiate a “wet reckless” plea, which is a favorable alternative over a DUI conviction.
When a case dismissal is impractical given the circumstances of the case, we may be able to negotiate a favorable plea bargain with the prosecutor. Such a plea bargain may involve no jail, a wet reckless, or another agreement involving lighter penalties.
If you’re facing DUI charges in Orange County, contact our firm for a free case evaluation with Attorney Landry, OC’s DUI Queen!