Recently, someone asked me if they take their case to trial, will they be punished worse that if they just plead guilty. The simply answer is generally no. In Utah, most Courts recognize that a person should not be punished for exercising the right to trial. However, out of the hundreds of DUIs that I have handled, there has been one time when a judge punished the man far worse than the minimum mandatory sentencing guidelines. This is very uncommon in most Utah courts. In fact, I find that many judges get to know my clients in trial and their punishment is less severe than a standard sentencing. That is why my theory and strategy is to take the case to trial even if it looks like a person has no chance of winning the case. Take the case to trial and you never know, something may happen that will allow the jury to find you not guilty. You may not have much to lose and the judge may find favor in you if you do.