A California DUI plea bargain (or plea deal) involves you and your criminal defense attorney negotiating with prosecutors for reduced charges or penalties. Unfortunately, if you accept a plea bargain, you essentially admit you are guilty of some form of DUI.
Still, many defendants pursue DUI plea bargains. These deals are attractive because they lessen the consequences of a DUI conviction. For example, a successful deal may involve you pleading guilty to less severe DUI charges in exchange for no jail time.
Should you accept a DUI plea bargain?
It depends on your situation and goals. As you may understand, DUI convictions can impact your life negatively in several ways. For example, in the modern world, a DUI conviction could result in a jail sentence and the loss of your driving privileges. If you cannot afford to lose time away from your job, a plea bargain may be in your best interests.
What are the risks of accepting a plea deal?
You will lose many of your constitutional protections by accepting the bargain. For example, you give up your right to a trial before a jury of your peers and you give you up your right to appeal your conviction and sentence.
Another point to consider is why the prosecutor is offering you a deal. It might mean the case against you is not as strong as the prosecutor initially believed. In this situation, accepting the bargain is likely not in your best interests.
How do you decide which path to take?
You need to consider both the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case. Legal guidance can help you determine whether a trial might be your best option. It is also wise to learn more about the law and your options for a DUI defense in California.