The major goal after an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) is to avoid being convicted. Doing that means hiring a criminal law attorney who practices DUI law and can fight the charges. DUI charges can be beat if you understand what the state must prove. However, many cases don't ever make it to the point of proving anything because they are resolved using a plea bargain. Read on to find out what a plea bargain can mean for your DUI case and how to handle it.
Know What the Bargain Means
Some plea bargains are not that great of a bargain. That is why it's vital to have your defense attorney review the plea deal presented by the state before you agree to anything. In some cases, a plea bargain will mean pleading guilty to a charge that might be reduced or a less serious charge. Many plea bargains are based on the potential for the judge to lessen the sentence as well. However, knowing the value of the deal you are getting may not be easy.
What Else to Know About DUI Plea Bargains
When you agree to a plea bargain, you are agreeing to plead guilty and to give up your right to a trial by a jury. Instead, you will appear before the judge and the judge will immediately sentence you based on their knowledge of the crime you are accused of committing.
When it comes to DUI plea bargains, the charges might be downgraded to what is known as wet disorderly or disorderly conduct. Reckless driving is another common charge that is substituted for a DUI charge with a plea bargain. This avoids the defendant from having a DUI on their record which can affect their driving license and jobs that involves driving.
It's important to understand that plea bargains often benefit the state more than the defendant. They are less expensive than a jury trial and they often keep the jails less crowded when they are offered to those who cannot make bail. Giving up your rights to a trial is a serious decision to be discussed with your attorney.
It's also vital to know what the state has in evidence against you. If they lack evidence or what they have is weak, you might be better off taking your case to a judge and jury. However, know that if you are convicted of DUI, the judge might not have much leeway when sentencing because of state mandatory sentencing guidelines.
Speak to a DUI lawyer about your case.Share