You’re looking at criminal charges for drinking and driving, and you just want the process to be over. But taking a deal or entering a guilty plea might skip over a good chance at getting the upper hand.

Police arrest over 3,000 people every day in the U.S. for drinking and driving. But not every one of those cases ends in a conviction or even makes it to trial. In Oklahoma, you may see a preliminary hearing to ensure your case warrants time in court. Before you need to defend yourself in a criminal trial, getting a preview of what’s to come could lean things in your favor.

Case building

How to use your preliminary hearing to gain an advantage in addressing your charges:

  • Early screening: The state will likely need to show that the police arrested you for a good reason. While it doesn’t mean the other side needs to lay all their cards on the table, you’ll likely see the direction they’re heading if your case goes to trial.
  • Analyzing evidence: The prosecutor may call witnesses and present evidence in the pretrial hearing. This means you’ll not only see some of what the state has against you, but you’ll generally be able to question submissions. You could find avenues to label items as inadmissible so the prosecution can’t use them once the trial is underway.
  • Better results: You could set yourself up for a better outcome before you ever get to trial, like receiving a plea deal or case dismissal. The hearing could make way for these options if enough evidence inadmissible, you reveal conduct mistakes or the state’s claim is found lacking.

Blindly hurrying through the proceedings probably isn’t in your best interest. Make sure you understand what can happen during your hearing, and take advantage of the openings that the government gives you. This could lead to better results when the time comes.