As a criminal defendant, it’s essential to understand how a trial works. If you’re facing a criminal conviction for a DUI, you may not know what to expect or whether or not your case will even go to trial. As this is a serious offense, you’ll need the assistance of a Maryland DUI lawyer to help you navigate the charges you face. Continue reading to learn more about what you can expect as a criminal defendant.
What Influences Whether or Not a DUI Case Will Go to Trial?
When you are charged with a DUI, you do not have to go to trial. As a criminal defendant, you have options for how to proceed with your case. In many instances, those charged with a DUI accept plea bargains, which offer reduced charges in exchange for a defendant’s guilty plea. This allows the defendant to avoid a trial, substantial fines, and points while the prosecution receives a conviction.
However, you do not have to accept a plea deal. In some cases, the prosecution may not even offer one. If you believe you can prove your innocence, declining a plea deal and opting for a trial may be the best option for you. When you go to trial, you are entitled to a jury of your peers, which includes twelve members of your community who will hear your case and decide whether you are guilty or innocent. However, you may request a bench trial in which the judge is the only person who hears your case and is thus the only person who decides your outcome.
It is essential to note that you should not make any decisions regarding accepting or declining a plea deal or which kind of trial is best without consulting an experienced lawyer. They can help you weigh your options to make the best decision based on your circumstances.
What Should I Do if I’m Facing DUI Charges?
When stopped on suspicion of DUI, the most important thing you must do is remain silent. You are not required to speak with police or take field sobriety tests. You should not speak to any members of law enforcement when arrested. The only thing you should say is that you would like an attorney and invoke your right to remain silent.
Once your attorney arrives, they will be able to help you determine the best course of action for your circumstances. If they believe you have a high chance of proving your innocence and evading charges, they may advise you to plead not guilty. However, if the state has insurmountable evidence against you, they may inform you that it’s in your best interest to accept a plea deal.
At the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz, our legal team is dedicated to fighting for the best outcome for our clients. Contact our office today to learn more about how we can help you.