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Am I Entitled to a Jury Trial in a DUI Case in California?

If you are facing a DUI charge in California, you may be wondering if you have the right to a jury trial. The answer is yes, you do. A DUI is a criminal offense, and under the California Penal Code, you are legally entitled to a jury trial before being convicted of a public offense. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned Tehama County DUI lawyer from Cohen Criminal Law to learn more about jury trials in the context of DUI cases and how our firm can help defend your rights and future at every turn. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What is a jury trial?

A jury trial is a legal proceeding where 12 members of the public are selected to hear the evidence and decide whether you are guilty or not guilty of the DUI charge. The jury must reach a unanimous verdict, meaning that all 12 jurors must agree on your guilt or innocence. If the jury cannot agree, the judge may declare a mistrial and order a new trial with a different jury.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a jury trial for a DUI case?

A jury trial can, be either advantageous or disadvantageous, depending on the specifics of your case. Some of the potential benefits are that, in some cases, juries are more sympathetic to peoples’ situations than judges are and that juries are sometimes more skeptical of the prosecution’s evidence brought against those charged with crimes.

A jury may also be more influenced by your defense attorney’s arguments, such as showing that you were not impaired by alcohol or drugs or that law enforcement somehow violated your rights at the time of your arrest. That being said, some of the potential drawbacks of jury trials include the fact that they tend to be more time-consuming and costly, they are sometimes unpredictable, and, as a result, can be more stressful for those who have to go through it.

How can I decide whether to request a jury trial?

The decision of whether to request a jury trial for your DUI case depends on a variety of factors, such as the strength of the prosecution’s case against you, your personal preferences, and whether your lawyer believes requesting a jury trial is ultimately the best option. For this reason, you should absolutely consult with an experienced California criminal defense lawyer who can advise you on the best course of action for your situation.

At Cohen Criminal Law, we have successfully defended many clients who were charged with DUI in California. We know how to prepare a strong defense strategy, whether it involves a jury trial or not. We will fight for your rights and protect your interests throughout the legal process. Contact us today for a free consultation.