Plea bargaining may be an option in some DUI cases where it is not possible to drop the charges. If you accept a plea bargain, you may be able to get reduced DUI penalties in exchange for pleading guilty to a lesser charge. The potential for a plea bargain will be evaluated by your DUI law firm who will attempt to negotiate with the prosecutor.
Should You Accept a Plea Bargain?
Plea bargains are more common in cases of first offense, or in instances where evidence may be weak. Prosecutors may offer a plea deal if they feel the judge is likely to show leniency or their case is not solid. Plea bargains are also used when courts are bogged down with a large number of cases to help clear the docket.
Your lawyer can discuss the plea bargain options and decide whether it should be considered instead of a not guilty plea. While plea bargains can be a welcome alternative for accused clients facing jail time or other strict penalties, it may not be the wisest move for clients who have a good shot at seeking dropped charges. Plea bargains may not be offered at all in cases with overwhelming evidence of drunk driving or repeat offenses.
An attorney who focuses on DUI law can advise you as to whether a plea bargain is in your best interest. If you have not yet located a lawyer and use this website to find a DUI law firm in your area.
Advantages of Taking a Plea Bargain
A plea bargain can be a smart move if you are comfortable admitting guilt. Accepting a plea bargain may involve reduced fines, shorter license suspension, reduction or avoidance of jail time, and eventual expungement of the DUI from your permanent record. Prosecutors who offer plea bargains usually ask defendants to plead guilty to a lesser charge, such as reckless endangerment.
As you contemplate the advantages of a plea bargain, keep in mind that you are giving up your right to have a formal hearing in front of a jury. Also, a judge overseeing DUI cases has the authority to reject any plea bargain agreements at will.
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