Orange County DUI

The Orange County District Attorneys Office now has a policy that any reduction of charges in DUI cases must be approved by a Supervisor in the Office, thereby removing discretion from deputy district attorneys actually handling plea bargain negotiations in court. This applies even for a reduction in a borderline case to a wet reckless. This is a frustrating development not just for orange county dui lawyers, but also for prosecutors who have privately expressed frustration to me at this removal of discretion. Prosecutors are no longer free to negotiate reductions, even when they feel that the facts and circumstances justify it, without first seeking approval from their supervisor. My experience is that supervisors do not get to be supervisors by being lenient. On the contrary, if permission is needed, the answer is normally a safe and prosecutorial, NO!

This will mean that more defendants facing a prosecution for a DUI in orange county will face the decision of taking their case to jury trial if nothing can be achieved by way of negotiation. It remains to be seen how the District Attorneys Office will respond if more and more DUI cases are set for trial thereby taking up more and more court time and resources.

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