Do You Merely Seek Plea Agreements For Clients Or Do You Go To Trial And Fight?
Interviewer: When defending cases, how often are you able to work out plea agreements with prosecutors versus having to go to trial?
Aaron: About 2% of the cases actually go to a jury trial on average when you look at all the DUIs out there. Sometimes I have more cases than that go to trial, rarely less.
Sometimes we have a situation where we have no choice but to go to trial, no matter what the blood alcohol level is. This is because the client’s job is on the line. That is their livelihood, or they have a commercial license.
There are a lot of reasons why we have to go to trial. Sometimes it is for immigration purposes. You never know which case is going to go to trial. That is why I always have to be prepared in every case for it to potentially go to trial.
Interviewer: You have a pretty good record because you do not plead clients guilty for no reason. You take cases to trial when necessary. Are you, in the vast majority of cases, able to get a favorable result without having to go to trial?
Aaron: I get a lot of cases I would like to take to trial. Usually, those are the more borderline cases; the ones where we have more defenses. Those cases are more likely to settle for a result the client is willing to accept. The client would rather accept that type of a disposition rather than go to trial.
If someone can get a Dry Reckless, a non-alcohol-related reckless driving, in almost every case they will take that instead of going to trial. This is because the consequences of trial can be so much more severe than having a DUI conviction on your record, versus a Dry Reckless. It is like night and day.
By Aaron Bortel
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