Drinking and driving is never a good idea. The consequences of choosing to do it can turn your world and the worlds of innocent people upside down.
If you get pulled over for drinking and driving in Nebraska, there will be a criminal process where you will face financial penalties and possible jail penalties. There will also be a separate Department of Motor Vehicles process that will deal with your ability to keep your driver’s license. This series of articles will cover both processes.
In Part I of this series on Nebraska DUI, Hightower Reff Partner Attorney and DUI law guru Susan Reff talked about the first steps of the DUI criminal court process. In this second part, she covers preparing for a plea or your trial and going to court for adjudication of your charges in your trial.
To Plea or Not to Plea
To plea or not to plea…that is the question. It’s crucial to have an experienced DUI attorney who has reviewed the State’s evidence advise you when you make your decision.
Before your attorney gives you a recommendation, he or she will have access to all evidence the State plans to present at the trial against you. Your attorney may also try to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutor.
Based on the strength of the evidence and the outcome of the plea negotiations, your attorney will offer you his or her best advice as to whether to enter into a plea agreement with the State or take your chances at trial. The final decision, however, is always up to you.
Going to the Show (Trial)
If you choose to go to trial, you can also choose whether your case is heard by a judge or by a jury. Your attorney will help you make that decision also, along with designing the best defense strategy for your case.
In some cases, your trial may happen quickly – within a month or two – but if the courts are busy or your case is complicated, it could take up to a year. In the meantime, depending on how you handle the separate DMV administrative process dealing with your driving privileges (more on that in separate blog articles to come), and the severity of your DUI and prior offenses, you may or may not be able to continue to legally drive.
The trial itself usually takes a day or less, depending on the amount of evidence to be presented by you and the State.
Next time in our Nebraska DUI series: after the trial.
This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts.