A DUI case can last a long time, especially if you’re taking the case all the way to trial. Many times clients will go the route of accepting a plea bargain, which can significantly shorten the amount of time your DUI attorney works on the case. However, before you consider a plea bargain, it’s important to consider the following scenarios.
To Plea or Not to Plea
When you accept a plea bargain, you’re admitting guilt. If this means your pleading to a DUI charge, that charge will go on your permanent criminal record. However, you may be abloe to qualify for a set aside of the conviction later on, if you complete probation successfully (See Pen. Code section 1203.4(a)). Additionally, accepting a plea may mean a hike in your insurance rates. Some clients consider the financial gain when accepting a plea bargain is avoiding legal fees, but the cost of admitting guilt can outweigh the savings in legal fees. If your pleading guilty, make sure your attorney has considered all your options and structured you the best deal possible., i.e. enhancements for excessive blood alcohol, speed, refusal of the tests, being dropped, or a reduced charge.
Open and Shut Case
The prosecutor may try to convince you that the case they have against you is cut and dry, but that’s not usually the case. There are a few things to do before trial that can improve your chances. To start, the machine used to calculate your blood alcohol content can be questioned. Second, the police officer who pulled you over may not have had probable cause to do so. Those two components alone could be enough to have the charges dismissed.
Retain An Attorney
Whether you decide to accept a plea bargain or proceed to trial, the best outcomes are generally achieved with an experienced DUI attorney on your side. To set up a consultation to discuss your case, contact us today.