DUI Plea Bargaining
After consulting with your DUI attorney and understanding your specific case, you may both find it best to plea bargain. Although this is rare in many DUI cases, this arrangement may be appropriate for you, the defendant and the government (or prosecution) depending on the seriousness of the crime and the strength of the evidence against you.
What is a Plea Bargain?
A plea bargain is sort of how it sounds – it’s a type of bargain. You and the government will make a specific arrangement whereby you agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for the prosecution to not prosecute you any further.
Let’s say for example that the prosecution has just approached you and your attorney about accepting a lesser charge of reckless driving instead of a DUI charge. This of course for you would mean you wouldn’t have to face such harsh penalties. Usually this is considered if you have an exemplary criminal record.
Why should I consider a plea bargain?
Again, your attorney will advise you on this, but plea bargains are usually at the request of the court – not the defendant. The government may feel they have a weak case against you or they may wish to settle in order to clear their calendar. The prosecution and defense lawyers may consider a plea bargain to keep the charges out of the control of a judge or jury.
When exactly does a plea bargain occur?
In general, 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 following the arrest. Your attorney will be able to advise you on the specifics of your case.
It is imperative that you speak with a DUI attorney before deciding whether to plea bargain or not. They will be able to help you make an informed decision.