When Should a DUI Go To Trial?
With the help of a Pittsburgh DUI lawyer, knowing when to take your case to trial could make the difference between facing a harsher sentence and getting your penalties reduced—or even dismissed.
DUI cases can go any number of ways, often without ending in a DUI trial. A prosecutor may drop the charges brought against a defendant, or a defendant may enter into a plea agreement, whereby he or she agrees to admit guilt in exchange for a lighter sentence. However, some cases do make it to trial. Depending on the circumstances of a particular case, these DUI trials can often help a defendant.
The Prosecution’s Evidence is Faulty
If there are obvious holes in a prosecution’s argument, such as faulty evidence or factual inaccuracies, it may make sense to bring your case to trail—so that it can be dismissed. Oftentimes, a prosecution relies on subjective measures of intoxication, such as the smell of alcohol on a person’s breath or of inflammation in a person’s eyes. While these signs can be symptoms of alcohol consumption, they are not necessarily directly caused by alcohol. Knowing that there are flaws in a prosecution’s case could propel your case to go to a DUI trial.
Your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Was Less Than .08
Because the legal limit for BAC in Pennsylvania is .08, it is difficult for a prosecution to prove that you were driving under the influence of alcohol if your BAC was under that amount. While BAC isn’t the only measure a prosecutor can use to prove intoxication, it is one of the most commonly used. As such, going to a DUI trial with a BAC recorded at less than .08 could help to call your case into question.
You Don’t Have Any Prior DUI Convictions
While not having a prior DUI conviction isn’t enough, in itself, to rationalize going to trial, it can be a useful factor when considering whether or not to bring your case to a DUI trial. Having a prior conviction, or multiple prior convictions could jeopardize your chances of doing well at trial, as a jury or judge will have knowledge of your criminal record. If you’ve been convicted of a DUI in the past, it may make sense to enter into a plea bargain instead. But if this is your first DUI offense, it may make sense to bring your case to a DUI trial.
The Effects of a Possible Conviction Are Severe
Weighing whether to take your case to a DUI trial or not should always be weighed against the effects of a possible conviction. If the effects could be severe, and if you have a good chance of winning at trial, it may make sense to bring your case to a DUI trial in order to avoid the worst possible penalties. For help in deciding whether or not to take your case to trial, contact a skilled Pittsburgh DUI lawyer who can review the details of your case and help you determine whether the effects of a possible conviction warrant bringing your case to trial.
How an Experienced Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer Can Help You
At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, we have experience helping clients avoid the worst of their DUI penalties and have done so by taking many of our clients’ cases to trial. If you’ve been charged with a DUI and are wondering whether it makes sense to take your case to a DUI trial, contact a Pittsburgh DUI lawyer for a free, initial consultation at (412) 281-2146.