When you have been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you are not yet convicted. The prosecutor on your case has to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before you can be convicted and sentenced for your case.
Your first court appearance is called an Arraignment. At the arraignment the Judge will inform you of your Constitutional rights and you will be given a plea bargain. A plea bargain is an offer a prosecutor will make to a defendant. It usually involves a lesser charge or penalty, and the offer is only on the table for the arraignment. If you plead guilty and accept the offer, your case will be concluded and you will not have a chance to go to trial.
When you decide to plead guilty, you will be given a Tahl waiver to initial and sign. The Tahl waiver is a very important document and it is highly recommended that you thoroughly review and understand the document before you sign it. If you have a Los Angeles DUI lawyer, it is extremely important that you take the time to sit and review the document with your attorney before you sign and initial it.
The Tahl waiver outlines the charge that you have been charged with. It also lists the maximum penalty for that specific charge. By initialing these sections, you are claiming that you understand what you are being charged with and that you understand the maximum penalty for that specific charge.
The most important part of the Tahl waiver outlines your constitutional rights, and your initialing this sections states that you are aware of the Constitutional rights that you have and are voluntarily giving them up.
These rights include the right to an attorney, the right to a fair and speedy trial, the right to a jury trial, the right to bring forth witnesses, testimony, and evidence, among other very important rights. Each and every person that is brought before a criminal judge has the right to plead guilty and have a jury of their peers determine the outcome of their case. They have the right to present testimony of witnesses, bring forth evidence and anything else needed to present your case to the jury.
These are rights granted to you by the United States Constitution. When you waive them, the judge has to be absolutely sure that you thoroughly understand the options you have and what it is that you are voluntarily choosing to waive. That is why it is highly advisable to seek the help of a knowledgeable Los Angeles Criminal attorney to go through the Tahl waiver with you, line by line.
The judge will then ask if you fully understand the nature of the proceedings, the rights that you are giving up and if an attorney has explained these rights to you. You want to be able to confidently say yes to those questions on the record before pleading guilty. Therefore, consult with a professional today!