Were you recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs in Orange County? If so, you’re probably wondering what to do. “What are my options? Should I plead guilty, or fight my charge? Should I accept a plea deal?” These questions are normal!
After a DUI arrest, you’re going to have what’s called an arraignment, which is a hearing where you’ll be informed of your charge and asked whether you plead guilty or not guilty. So, let’s say you’ve been released from jail after your DUI arrest and now you’re facing your arraignment. Read on to learn more about your options from this point forward.
What are your options during a DUI case?
- You can plead guilty to the DUI offense (not recommended).
- You can seek a plea bargain where you plead guilty to a lesser offense, such as a California wet reckless.
- You can ask for a trial before a judge.
- You can ask for a jury trial.
Should I Ask for a Jury Trial?
Since we don’t usually recommend that DUI defendants plead guilty as charged, let’s take a look at two other scenarios: plea bargains and jury trials. Should you accept a plea bargain, or should you fight your charge and go to trial? Since we don’t know the details of your situation, we can’t give you a definitive answer.
However, we can say that the answer will depend on the following factors: your criminal record history, the nature of your recent DUI offense, and the available evidence. For example, if you had a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and there is a lot of evidence against you, you may be better off negotiating a plea deal with the prosecutor.
On the other hand, if you had a borderline (at or near the .08% legal limit) or low BAC, or if you were a victim of police misconduct, it may make sense to try to get the prosecution to drop your charges and if that doesn’t work, it may be beneficial to take your case to trial. It all depends on the unique facts of your case. Essentially, if your BAC was below .08%, your chances of winning a jury trial are better.
Regardless of the facts of your case, one of our skilled Orange County DUI defense lawyers will be able to cross-examine the evidence and cast doubt in the minds of the decision makers. To determine the best defense strategy for your situation, contact our firm to speak with OC’s DUI Queen, who is board-certified in DUI defense!