DUI Jury Trials

One of the most difficult aspects of defending drunk driving cases is when to advise a client to take his or her DUI case to jury trial. Some DUI defense attorney's are happy and willing to advise every client to go to trial, without properly exploring the chances of winning. There are attorney's who are prepared to actively encourage trial whatever the evidence. This may be because of the attorney's "never plead guilty approach", or because the attorney has a personal agenda to try as many cases as possible for the "experience" or because the attorney wishes to obtain the increased fees for trial whenever possible. This is, ofcourse what some defendants want.

Attorney's Gold & Witham are experienced Los Angeles and Orange County DUI Trial Attorney's who are always prepared to try a case if that is the best option for the client. However, there are important considerations to make. Most importantly, there should be a plan for jury trial. Sometimes it is necessary to go to jury trial on DUI charges without an obvious defense in order to test the evidence and to see if reasonable doubt can be established through thorough cross examination of the Prosecution witnesses. However, the chances of success are improved if there is a genuine issue with the evidence or a genuine defense. The bottom line is that your attorney should be able to advise you on a strategy and on the chances of success before taking the big step of going to trial.

You should also be aware that jury trial is not "free" in the sense that if you are convicted after trial, penalties can be more serious than any negotiated plea offer. Judges can sentence a defendant to jail after trial even on a first offense so long as the Judge does not explicity do this because of the defendant exercising his or her right to go to trial and "wasting" the courts time. Judges can normally justify whatever constitutional sentence they deem appropriate up to the maximum sentence allowed by law. Some judges have a reputation for being very tough on defendants who lose after jury trial.

Los Angeles DUI trial lawyers, Nigel Witham and Jeffrey Gold are professional trial attorneys who are very farmiliar with all defenses available to defendants charged with DUI and how to win at jury trial. However they also recognize that the decision to go to trial is one that should be considered carefully, with a good understanding of the chances of success and an acceptance of the risks associated with a potential loss. Jury trial is not for everyone. In fact most defendants would prefer to avoid it if possible in order to avoid the cost, time and risk associated with trial. At Gold & Witham, we understand your individual concerns and will help to guide you to the correct decision. We are usually able to avoid trial for those who do not want it by negotiating a beneficial plea bargain. Please call us at (800) 716-6791 for a case evaluation.


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