Facing drunk driving charges is never something to take lightly, especially if you suspect that the evidence against you is strong. However, you must do everything you can to fight back against such charges, or else you may find yourself facing stiff punishment that far outpaces any crime you allegedly committed.
For many people facing significant DUI charges, it is not realistic to attempt to get the charges dismissed entirely, although it is always wise to examine the circumstances closely to determine if dismissal is possible. Even if you cannot dismiss the charges outright, you may have ways to reduce the charges for lesser punishment and fewer lasting effects in your everyday life.
Should I consider a plea bargain if the prosecution offers me one?
Whether or not to accept a plea bargain depends on the details of the charges. Plea bargains do generally entail lesser sentencing, but they may also shoulder you with a conviction that you might avoid if you continue to fight the charges altogether.
Many defense attorneys do not have a high view of plea bargains, as prosecutors regularly use them to secure a “win” while the defendant still ends up with a conviction and all the short- and long-term implications that brings. Especially for young defendants with no prior convictions, accepting a plea bargain is typically something to avoid.
While plea bargains do reduce your sentencing, the “bargain” still generally favors the prosecutor, not the defendant.
Arguing for reduced sentencing
While accepting a prosecutor’s plea bargain is not always wise, you may still have opportunities to fight for reduced charges in exchange for pleading guilty. While this is very similar to the plea you might receive from a prosecutor, working out your own plea with high quality legal resources and guidance is often a wiser choice.
Negotiating on sentencing is no simple matter, because it involves many issues. You may have an opportunity to reduce the actual charges, from something like serious DUI charge to a reckless driving charge. Likewise, you may be able to fine-tune the terms of your sentencing by reducing the severity of some aspects of your probation, such as drug testing.
However you choose to proceed, make sure that you have a clear understanding of the law and the goal that you hope to achieve. With a clear goal and strong legal strategy, you can protect your rights while you fight for a fair sentence well below what you might otherwise receive.