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Here’s a great article from Cloud Chasers, a top e-commerce shop that sells bongs, vaporizers, e liquids, and more. Being arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Los Angeles remains a very serious matter. The law can be harsh to those arrested for a DUI. When you have already been arrested and convicted of a previous DUI, the situation may become even more difficult. Sentencing may be harsher. Panicking over the situation won’t be of any help, though. Instead, you must concentrate on whether the outcome of the case seems likely to be a guilty verdict or not.
Retaining the services of the best defense counsel should take a burden off the shoulders of someone fretting over a possible guilty verdict. The attorney, through a careful examination of your case, can mount the most viable defense strategy.
The Early Stages of the Legal Process
The legal process begins with the defendant being arrested and charged with a crime. In this case, the crime would be a DUI. Soon after, defendants are given an arraignment date from which they must enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Prior to entering a plea, the defendant hears the announcement of formal charges along with the possible punishment after a conviction.
Not showing up for arraignment while out on bail would lead to the likely outcome of bail being revoked. That means a return to jail. In certain instances, however, the defendant does not need to appear in court. The attorney may appear on behalf of the defendant for the arraignment to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
Interestingly, a plea does not need to be entered at the time of the arraignment. Asking for a continuance remains an option. With a continuation, the defendant is afforded additional time — up to 30 days — to hire an attorney or engage in the discovery process. Discovery refers to a formal process of finding evidence.
With a guilty plea, the defendant finds the proceedings over except for the sentencing. The entering of a plea or guilty or even not guilty should only be done after careful discussion with your attorney. An attorney advises a client on the best path to take in court. Depending on the state’s case and the background of the defendant, a plea deal may be the best course of action.
The Plea Bargain Process
A plea bargain is, in essence, a guilty plea. The “bargain” aspect is what the defendant and his/her counsel focus on. The defense and the prosecution come together to discuss a deal in return for a guilty plea. Likely, the evidence is very strong against the defendant and a guilty verdict in court would be hard to avoid. By entering a plea, no need for a costly trial exists. This appeals to the burdened court system.
The defendant’s prior criminal history factors into whether the prosecutor would be willing to accept a plea deal. Additionally, previous convictions would guide how harsh or lenient a deal can be worked out. Ultimately, all the details and arrangements of a plea bargain are discussed between the defense attorney and the prosecutor.
Heading to Trial
Defendants go to trial for one common reason: they feel they can convince the jury of their innocence and receive a not guilty verdict. Another reason would be the plea bargain deal offered by the district attorney might be too terrible to accept. So, a decision is made to take a chance at trial.
The trial may be in front of a judge or a judge and jury. If the case is not dismissed or withdrawn and goes to trial, the judge or jury comes to a verdict of guilty or not guilty. The risk of a guilty verdict would be harsh sentencing.
Even if you are found guilty, your lawyer can request leniency in sentencing based on prior criminal history and the circumstances of the case. If no one was injured or property destroyed in the DUI incident and there was no attempt at resisting arrest, the sentence may be somewhat lenient.
Without a doubt, before entering a plea, you must seek out representation from the best possible counsel. An attorney who previously handled DUI cases in the Los Angeles court system. Entering a plea without advice and consent of experienced counsel could prove disastrous. For this reason and more, hire an attorney.