DUI Plea Bargaining Lawyers

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What Is a DUI Plea Bargain?

A DUI plea bargain is a specific arrangement between the government and a defendant whereby the defendant agrees to plead guilty, typically to reduced charges, in exchange for the government not prosecuting him further.  Although somewhat rare in DUI cases, this arrangement may be appropriate for both the defendant and the government depending on the seriousness of the crime and the strength of the evidence. 

What Are My DUI Plea Bargain Options?

At some point in your DUI case, you have to make a decision on whether to:

  1. Take your case to trial and have a judge or jury hear your case and decide on your guilt or innocence
  2. Work out a plea bargain with the prosecutor

A DUI plea bargain that can be negotiated with the prosecutor and your attorney could be a reduced charged, a reduced sentence, or both. The types of plea bargains that can be negotiated can be:

What Is an Example of a DUI Plea Bargain?

A good example of a plea bargain in a DUI case would be where the prosecuting attorney comes to the defendant and offers him a reduction in charges from a straight DUI charge to a reckless driving or "open container" violation. This is typically done if the defendant has an clean criminal record. In a case that is likely to see a negative jury decision, some defendants may be able to negotiate to only have a DUI charge put on their record and no other punishment, if the circumstances permit. 

Why Are Plea Bargains Made?

DUI plea bargaining is typically done because the court wants to do it rather than because the defendant wants to do it. If the government feels that their case might be weak, they are more willing to settle for a plea bargain rather than pursue a case through a trial. Plea bargains are also made because it allows the prosecution and the defense lawyers to control the charge result instead of having a judge or jury decide the defendant's fate. 

When Should a Plea Bargain Made?

In theory, a plea bargain may be made at any time after arrest. In practice, however, the timing of a plea bargain depends on the court and the jurisdiction. Some states only allow plea bargains during certain phases of the criminal process. Others permit plea bargains at any time. 

Should I Contact a Lawyer Regarding a Plea Bargain?

Having a DUI lawyer present during the DUI process is a good idea. Particularly if you are interested in negotiating a plea bargain, you should have one. An experiences DUI attorney will usually be able to help you out if the facts of your case are good.

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Last Modified: 10-09-2014 01:00 PM PDT

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