Do DUI Cases End Up Going To Trial?


Based on my own experience, somewhere between 10% and 30% of cases go to trial in a given year. The vast majority of DUI cases that go to trial are eligible to be presented to a jury, and this would apply to both misdemeanors and felonies.

Why Most DUI Attorneys Try To Avoid Going To Trials

Many lawyers want to avoid going to trial for the basic reason that it would be more work and it is certainly more of a risk, which is definitely true.

DUI attorneys also try to avoid trial so they can try to find a legal reason to have the case dismissed or so they can work out a better plea offer than simply to have a client plead guilty to driving under the influence.

A lot of attorneys may also avoid trial a great majority of the time because they feel there is not much chance of winning. They might discourage their clients by describing the evidence against them as overwhelming.

Some Attorneys Charge An Extra Fee For The Trial

Although I do not follow this practice, often times, clients will be charged an additional fee if a DUI case goes to trial. This might be to again, discourage people from taking that avenue. These attorneys would try to get a favorable plea offer upfront and if they did not, then that would basically be the end of it.

I cannot say that I handle a larger percentage of trials as compared to other lawyers, although that may very well be true. However, because of the number of trials I do handle, I go to calendar calls in various jurisdictions often. Of the lawyers I see advertising; I do not actually see a lot of them at calendar calls for jury trials and therefore think they do not do many jury trials.

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