A DUI Pretrial or DUI Settlement hearing can also be called a Readiness and is after the first appearance or arraignmment. The purpose of this appearance is for the defense attorney to sit down with the prosecutor and discuss the case and possible settlement. It is where the plea bargaining occurrs. The facts of a Driving Under the Influence case are very important in negotiating any resolution, but there are other factors considered and include the possible defenses, defendants background and impact the conviction as well as other mitigating factors.
The DUI case factors include the dangerousness of the driving, prior record, attitude with the officer, field sobriety test and one of the most important factors is the breath test and/or blood alcohol or drug level. There are other considerations which which are very important like possible defenses, witness issues, technical problems with testing, detention issues, mitigating factors as well as individual backgrounds and conviction impact. A DUI defense attorney knows what to look for and what is important in the negotiating process. Sometimes alcohol or drug treatment, AA/NA meetings, military or combat service can also affect how a case is resolved.
If there are valid defenses, DUI cases may be dismissed, if there are good defense issues then they may be used to get a lesser charge or penalty rather than litigate. Every jurisdiction is different as are the prosecutors. Penalties can go up based on whether there is an accident or high blood alcohol as well as other aggravating factors. These pretrial or readiness conferences can be continued until ultimately the case is settled or goes to trial. Most cases are settled based on these factors through negotiation and resolved without risking more serious consequences or charges.