I was set for jury trial in Bellflower Superior Court yesterday on a first time DUI for a client who was in training to become a teacher. His breath alcohol level was .15%. I had already attended three pre-trial hearings and the young deputy district attorney prosecuting the case had told me that there was no way he would reduce the charges to a "wet reckless" with a .15% breath alcohol level. However, on the trial date the prosecutor relented and my client decided to plead to a wet reckless in return for a dismissal of DUI charges. My client had made it clear to me that he did not wish to actually go to trial, but by setting the matter for jury trial and "calling their bluff" he was able to get what he wanted.
Setting a DUI case for jury trial sometimes results in a better offer. It tends to put a prosecutor under more pressure and focusses them on the issues. It can also backfire and result in a prosecutor withdrawing a previous offer and refusing to negotiate further. This depends on the court and the politics in the local prosecutor's office. Knowing when to take this risk requires experience and knowledge of local policies. Nigel Witham and Jeffey Gold are experienced DUI lawyers in Los Angeles who are able to guide your case to its best possible outcome.