In some states, you have the option of facing the judge or jury when being prosecuted for DUI (driving under the influence). Here are some of the reasons you should opt for a jury trial in such a case.
The Jury Is More Likely To Be Sympathetic
One of the pros of dealing with a jury, rather than a judge, is that the jury is more likely to be sympathetic to your plight than the judge. This doesn't mean that you have a slam-dunk case if you are being tried by a jury. It just means that if sympathy was one of your defense strategies, your chances of succeeding in a jury trial are better than those of a bench trial. This is because the jurors are also members of the society who, perhaps, have had to deal with DUI stops at one time or another.
It May Boost Your Chances of Plea Bargaining
Another advantage of aiming for a jury trial is that it boosts your chances of getting a plea bargain deal and also helps strengthen your bargaining power during the negotiations. This is because jury trials are more complex and take more time than bench trials. When you ask for a jury trial, the prosecution gets motivated to try as much as possible and resolve the case via other ways.
It's Easier for the Judge to Trust the Police and Prosecutor
In a DUI trial, the suspected motorist squares up to the police who arrested them for the alleged crime. The police have to prove that they have probable cause to arrest you and you were really drunk. On the other hand, you have to prove that you weren't intoxicated. In this battle of wits pitting you against the prosecution and the police, the judge is more likely to believe the police than you. Oh, sure the judge is an impartial dispenser of justice, but they are likely to believe the police if the evidence is not 100% clear.
The Judge May Be Extra-Motivated To Fight DUI
Lastly, there are also judges who are out to deal with DUI cases in the strictest possible way. This may be due to their personal beliefs, or it may be politically motivated, but expect strict adherence to the rule of law if that is the case. In such a case, you may be better off dealing with a jury instead of the judge.