WHAT IF THE PERSON JUST WANTS TO PLEAD GUILTY?
A good attorney will advise you that they have to at least wait and see what the police report and the test results show before anything. The attorney will explain to them what he thinks their chances are if they go to trial. He will explain to them what happens to them if they go in and plead no contest or guilty, or what will happen to them. Generally, after a trial, even if you lose, it is usually not going to be any worse than if you are just going in and plead before trial. People should have as much information as possible before they make that decision to plead.
If a person really just comes in and says, “I don't want to go into court by myself. I have a very bad case” or they do not want to go through the time and expense of the trial. If that is really what they want, then the attorney will help them with that. The attorney will not charge a whole lot to do that, attorney fees are a lot less if the person just wants to be guided through the process and make sure they get the minimum sentence. What is bad about it is that a lot of people do not realize what a problem this can be for employment, future employment or on their record. If you can avoid getting a DUI, if it is at all possible, you should try and do that.
DO COURTS EVER SHOW MERCY TO A GOOD PERSON? IF THE PERSON HAS A CLEAN RECORD, HOW MUCH WILL THAT PLAY IN COURT IN A DUI CASE?
If it is a typical first offense DUI case, at that point it would depend on what they find the blood alcohol level to be. If it is anywhere from 0.08% or above to 0.20%, then mercy or sympathy really does not matter. The courts in the Bay Area are going to give you what they consider their standard first time offense punishment whether you are a good person or not. You are probably going to get the minimum sentence that that court gives out.
The courts in Bay Area vary a little bit. On a first-time DUI, most courts only require two days in jail, which can be served in a Work Alternative Program. Those are the people you see picking up trash on a weekend. Some courts want to give more time on a first offence. That is four days but it is generally two days for most of them. Some of the judges will give you time if you are arrested and you spend overnight in jail. For example, if you are arrested at ten o'clock and you are released at two o'clock the next morning, they will give you a two-day' credit for that, so you can wind up not going to jail.
As far as mercy or sympathy, it does not really enter into it unless it is a more complicated case, or there are other extenuating factors in the case. If you can show that you have a good job, you have been working and you have a good family, maybe the court thinks you might have an alcohol problem and they see that you are addressing it like going to a program or AAA. In a more serious case, one would say a person with two or three priors that does mean a lot at that point. However, in the general first time DUI case, sympathy or mercy really does not enter into it, it really is not even applicable to the case.
To find out How DUI Cases Proceed In Court, call The Law Office Of Blackie Burak for a FREE Case Evaluation at (925) 933-4500 and get the information and legal answers you're seeking.