Atlanta, GA- Last year, the law enforcement agencies across the country arrested approximately 1.2 million people for DUI, according to data from the FBI. All of these individuals are facing serious legal challenges which they may or may not be aware of and have some serious choices to make. Among them is whether to agree to a plea bargain. An alleged offender must decide if they are simply going to
Immediately after a DUI arrest, the individual charged needs to decide if they are going to just plead guilty and deal with the consequences. Or, they can retain a DUI attorney to challenge their charges and possibly receive a reduced sentence through a plea bargain with the courts. There are pros and cons to a plea bargain, so many ask; should I agree to one?
In many cases, prosecutors prefer plea bargains because it gives them the chance to avoid a costly court trial. If they don’t have strong evidence, it may be a way to secure a conviction albeit for reduced charges, but a conviction nonetheless.
Prosecutors may offer plea bargains in which the offender pleads guilty to DUI, plead no contest or agree to a lesser charge suck as reckless driving. These bargains or deals typically result in reduced penalties.
You can enter into a plea bargain almost at in any point after you have been formally charged. Though it should be noted that some courts set limits on when they will consider a plea bargain. Prosecutors also place deadlines on when they will consider and plea bargain typically to force a
You don’t have to take the first plea bargain offered to you. If your DUI attorney believes it is in your best interest, and given the evidence against you, they may recommend you take the deal. After evaluating the prosecution’s evidence, your attorney may advise you to hold out for a better deal.
If you and the prosecution can come up with a plea bargain that both parties are satisfied, you will have to appear before a judge and explain the arrangements. A judge has the right to refuse any plea bargain, but usually respects the recommendations of prosecutors. If a judge refuses a deal, the defendant can ask to withdraw their plea and go to trial.
It’s important to bear in mind that prosecutors don’t have to offer a plea bargain, but they often chose this option to save the time and expense of going to trial. Since these deals are brokered in the spirit of compromise it is unwise to enter negotiations with an inflexible attitude. If the prosecution is likely to get a conviction, you need to be willing to make
So, whether you should agree to a plea bargain depends on the circumstances of your case and the evidence stacked up against you. It also depends on how strong a defense your DUI attorney has built. There’s no easy “yes” or “no” answer for to this question, but a consultation with one of our DUI attorneys should give insight into whether a plea bargain will be beneficial in your case.