Do I Have a Right to a Jury Trial in My DUI Case?

drunk driver

Many types of cases can end up being tried in front of a jury. If no plea bargain can be reached and charges against a defendant are not dropped, the jury trial should be at the end of the process. This is not the case with DUI charges though, and a Bergen County, New Jersey DUI lawyer can help you understand why.

Can I Have a Jury Trial When I Am Charged With a DUI?

The state of New Jersey actually does not give you a jury trial when you are charged with a DUI. Instead, someone charged with a DUI ends up going to municipal court for a hearing in front of a judge. The prosecution does not have to convince a jury of your peers that you are guilty. They just have to convince the judge.

When Should I Go to Trial?

Going to trial may be advisable when the prosecution is offering a bad plea offer. A lawyer can help you evaluate such an offer and figure out if going to trial is worth the risk. Remember, getting convicted at a trial could result in the harshest possible penalties being thrown at you.

It is also important to remember that a DUI conviction can stay on your record for life. Some criminal charges can be expunged from your record, but this is not technically a criminal charge. That means that anyone doing a background check on you in the future is likely to see that you have a DUI on your record.

So in addition to fines, jail time, and the suspension of your driver’s license, you could end up with problems securing jobs, housing, or loans in the future. This is why going to trial in front of a municipal judge is only recommended when you believe that you can win.

How Can I Defend Myself Against a DUI Charge?

Fortunately, there are many different ways to defend yourself against a DUI charge. A criminal defense lawyer from our firm can look at the unique facts of your case and decide upon the best strategy. We can say that:

  • There was no probable cause for the stop
  • You failed the sobriety test due to illness or injury, not inebriation
  • The breathalyzer was not properly calibrated
  • Your blood sample that was tested for alcohol was not properly preserved

If there is a way to poke holes in the state’s case against you, we will do our best to find it.

Contact Our Law Firm Today

If you are facing a DUI charge and the hefty penalties that go with it, you need to act. Contact the Law Office of E. Gregory M. Cannarozzi and learn more about how a criminal defense attorney can be of assistance. We can schedule a consultation and get to work on formulating a defensive strategy that will work best for you.

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