Drivers in California can get a jury trial if they are accused of driving under the influence (DUI). At a jury trial, a group of designated individuals will listen to your case and determine if you are guilty or not guilty.
While you can get a jury trial after a DUI arrest like you can for all criminal trials, many of these cases are resolved outside of the court system. For example, a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles could get DUI charges reduced or even dismissed.
Getting a Jury Trial for a DUI in California
You are legally entitled to a trial by your peers after an arrest for a DUI. This is because a DUI is considered a criminal offense in the state of California. You are free to go if a jury declares you not guilty of a DUI.
However, some jury trials end with a guilty verdict. The court system will hand down penalties if a driver is found guilty by the jury. Sentences for a DUI often include:
- Jail time
- License restrictions
Drivers are often ordered to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicle if they are convicted of a DUI in court. An IID measures your blood alcohol content (BAC) each time you try to turn on your vehicle. The IID will lock you out if your BAC shows as elevated.
Timeframe for Getting a Jury Trial in Los Angeles
Generally, the court will move quickly to set up a date for a jury trial after a DUI arrest. In most cases, the court will schedule your trial within 45 days of the time you are arrested. However, sometimes the court will set an earlier date.
For example, if you are held in jail after an arrest, the court will schedule your trial for within 30 days of your arrest.
Defenses for Jury Trials for DUI Cases
A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles could work to build a defense if your DUI case goes to trial by jury. There are several defenses that might work in a jury trial. A lawyer could take steps to show that:
- You were not driving while impaired
- Police officers stopped you without due cause
- Your BAC test results were inaccurate or mishandled
A lawyer will assess the specific facts of your case before building a defense for you. Not all DUI cases are handled the same way. You should focus on getting personalized attention if you believe you will have a jury trial for a DUI.
Resolving a DUI Charge Out of Court in Los Angeles
You can get a jury trial for a DUI. However, in many cases, a lawyer will focus on handling your case before you ever go to court. This can allow you to resolve your charges more quickly and more effectively.
You have two primary options to resolve your charges out of court. A lawyer can work to:
Get Your Charges Dismissed
A lawyer can file a motion to dismiss after you are accused of a DUI. This motion asks the court to set your charges aside. The court may agree to dismiss your charges if your rights were violated or if there is insufficient evidence that you committed a DUI. You will not get convicted if the court dismisses your charges with prejudice.
Get Your Charges Reduced
You can also focus on reducing your charges after a DUI arrest. Reducing your charges requires you to accept a plea bargain from the prosecution. Plea bargains allow you to accept a less serious charge that comes with reduced penalties. A lawyer can assess a plea bargain to make sure it’s fair to you, before you accept it.
Don’t Go Through a DUI Jury Trial on Your Own
If you’re facing a possible jury trial for a DUI charge here in Los Angeles, we can help you build a strong defense. Start by calling (310) 862-0199 or filling out our online contact form for a free consultation.