How do I negotiate for a favorable DUI sentence?
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, it may be wise to consider pleading guilty to your DUI charge in exchange for a reduced sentence. A plea negotiation involves an agreement between you and the prosecution. You will agree to plead guilty or no contest to an agreed-upon charge in exchange for an agreed-upon sentence. If you elect to not take the plea deal, you will bring your case to trial. Taking a plea deal has both pros and cons. Deciding whether to enter into a plea deal is a complex decision best made with the assistance of an experienced DUI defense attorney.
Why Should I Consider a Plea Negotiation?
There are several reasons why you might wish to consider a plea bargain. For starters, if the evidence against you is particularly strong, going to trial could be an uphill battle. Your attorney is in the best position to assess whether the case against you is a strong one. Next, if the charges you face are severe, you might want to weigh a potential plea bargain. For example, if you might face considerable jail time due to a multiple offense DUI, a plea bargain might be the safer bet to ensure you do not spend time in jail. Lastly, financial constraints might make you lean towards a plea bargain. Going to trial can be time-consuming and potentially costly.
Areas of Plea Negotiation
Negotiating a strong plea deal is an art form. While the prosecution might approach you with an initial offer, often your attorney can work for a better deal.
Negotiating the Charge
One of the primary areas of negotiation is negotiating the charge you face. In exchange for pleading guilty, the prosecutor will agree to dismiss the higher charges or accept a plea to a lesser crime. For example, if you are charged with a felony DUI, you might negotiate for a plea of guilty if the charges are dropped to a misdemeanor DUI.
Negotiating the Sentence
Sentence bargaining involves pleading guilty to the charge you face in exchange for a lesser sentence. For example, if you are charged with a second offense DUI and could be sentenced to 90 days in jail, you might enter into a plea deal to serve 30 days in jail.
Plea negotiations can potentially save you time, money, and jail time for the right defendant. Contact a criminal defense attorney to find out more about your defense options if you have been charged with a DUI.