Can I Plea Bargain my DUI Charge?
Pleading guilty to a DUI may make it go away quicker, but will leave you facing severe penalties and a marred criminal record. You need the assistance of a Pittsburgh DUI lawyer. An experienced criminal defense attorney will know the best way to lessen your charges or get them dismissed altogether.Plea Bargains: What are They?
When a prosecutor or district attorney agrees to reduce a DUI charge if the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge, a plea bargain has occurred. Generally, in this scenario, the lesser charge you plea to also comes with less severe punishments than the original DUI charge. You could plead guilty to reckless driving, speeding, or another traffic violation that is not DUI-related, and the district attorney would then drop the DUI charges. You pay the fines for the lesser charge, and keep a DUI off your criminal history.
There are several factors that come into play in a plea bargain. If the prosecutor doesn’t have a strong case, he will be more likely to agree to one. Or, if the arresting officer’s conduct was incorrect or the results of the BAC test are questionable, the prosecutor will be more inclined to agree. Basically, there are times when a plea bargain is in the district attorney’s best interests while also being in yours. One of these times is when neither party wants the case to go to trial.
Your Pittsburgh DUI attorney can ask the prosecutor for a plea bargain that favors his client more but is also fair to everyone and still allows justice to be served. Sometimes an attorney might make the recommendation to go to trial, but he would take the time to give his client accurate information that would enable the client to make an informed decision. DUI lawyers with experience know when a plea bargain is to their client’s benefit. In the end, the decision to go to trial or accept a plea bargain is in the hands of the client.Can I Negotiate my Own Plea Bargain?
The short answer is no. You can try, but you do not have the experience and knowledge of the law to do it alone. You need an experienced Pittsburgh DUI attorney to help you with it.
As mentioned above, there are numerous other charges one can plead guilty to in exchange for DUI charges being dropped. One of these is called “wet reckless,” or reckless driving-alcohol related. The availability of this charge depends on the circumstances of your case. How drunk were you? If you were close to the legal limit of 0.08%, pleading to this might be an option.
Your attorney will look at other factors, as well, to see if this might be something you can plead to. The number of previous DUI convictions you have plays a big part, as does your previous criminal record. Were you found with drugs or drug paraphernalia, or an open container? Did you resist arrest or try to flee? Any of these extra charges will likely disqualify you from pleading to a wet reckless charge. Finally, if there was an accident that goes along with your DUI arrest, even if it was not your fault, chances are high that you will not be able to plead to a wet reckless charge.
If you or a loved one has been charged with Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs, and wish to try to get a plea bargain, you will need a criminal defense attorney. The Logue Criminal Defense team has the experience to guide you through the maze that is the court system. Logue Law Group serves Pittsburgh, PA, West Virginia, and Ohio. To schedule a consultation with Sean Logue and his team of experienced Pittsburgh Criminal Defense lawyers, call 1-844-PITT-DUI or (412) 389-0805, or contact us online.
Don’t delay! The more time that passes between your arrest and when you hire an attorney, the more difficult it will be for you to get a plea bargain that will reduce or dismiss your charges and leave your criminal record free of a DUI conviction. Call today!