No doubt due in part to the popularity of crime shows and movies, many are under the mistaken impression that each Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrest leads to a criminal trial. According to Lawyers.com, however, “The overwhelming majority of criminal cases are resolved through plea bargains and guilty pleas.”
Plea Bargains Defined
When you agree to admit to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you are agreeing to a enter a plea. A plea bargain is an agreement between you and the prosecution in which each of you compromise. You are waiving your right to a trial and the prosecution forfeits their opportunity to try you in court.
“In exchange for your plea,” said Jonathan W. McConnell, criminal defense attorney at the McConnell Law Firm in Wichita, Kansas, “The prosecution agrees to drop or amend some or all of your charges and/or recommend a lighter sentence than you would get if you went to trial and lost.”
Of course, every case is different and no conclusions should be drawn without first consulting an attorney about the specifics of your case. Additionally, any plea bargain must be approved by the court to ensure the plea is voluntary and all terms are clearly understood.
Is a Plea Bargain Right for You?
The McConnell Law Firm has developed some key facts you should think about when considering whether or not a plea bargain is right for you:
- Usually plea bargains can be struck at any time from shortly after your arrest to right before the jury returns a verdict, although time limits do vary by state.
- Prosecutors generally like plea bargains because they are less time-consuming and guarantee a conviction.
- Defendants often like plea bargains because it gives them more control over their fate, they are less time-consuming and they can minimize criminal exposure.
How the McConnell Law Firm’s DUI Defense Team Can Help
Specializing in DUI defense, the McConnell Law Firm has the knowledge and expertise to ensure your rights are defended. We will make sure all procedures were correctly followed during your DUI arrest and that you are being treated fairly by the system. Our skilled DUI team may be able to successfully negotiate the dismissal of your charge or negotiate a reckless driving charge rather than a DUI.
“Even if a DUI conviction is inevitable and you think you would like to take a plea bargain,” said McConnell, “Having a DUI attorney by your side will be to your benefit.”
Please contact the McConnell Law Firm today for a free consultation. We look forward to helping you in your DUI case!