Plea bargaining in DUI cases in Vista Courts involves discussions with the District Attorney and can also include the Judge. This is a process where the Defense Attorney negotiates the clients case in order to resolve it in the best possible way based on the evidence and other factors. Settling a case avoids the risk and expense of a trial where the client could suffer a possible more serious conviction or greater penalties if convicted. If the Defendant is not getting a sufficient benefit from the settlement and has a good defense, then the case may proceed to a Jury trial where the risks vary with the facts of the case and the Defendants background or record.
The vast majority of criminal cases are settled through negotiated plea bargains, well over 90%. Plea bargaining is an important tool for all parties, Judges, Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys. There are not near enough resources to try all the cases, so it has become an essential part of the criminal justice system out of necessity. There are cases which get dismissed becuse of insufficient evidence, or further investigation indicating a valid defense, but the rest of the cases may be able to be resolved in such a way that the Defendant is willing to resolve the matter with an acceptable plea bargain rather than take the risk of going to trial and getting a significant sentence if convicted.