Can I Get a Plea Deal in a DUI Case?

DUI, driving under the influence, is a crime that is taken very seriously by law enforcement and prosecutors. The consequences for a DUI conviction can be very severe and may include fines, jail time, probation, and suspension of your driver’s license. There are many issues that are considered when determining whether to offer a plea deal. Not all DUI cases are open and shut. There are often factors that may be used to reduce the crime to a lesser offense. In cases where the evidence is lacking the prosecutor may be willing to reduce the charges.

For example, if this is the first DUI and there were no injuries and no property damage and the BAC was only slightly over the legal limit, there is a possibility of a plea deal – reducing the charges in exchange for a guilty plea. The lesser charges that typically come into play in this type of situation are speeding or reckless driving. While these hold penalties, they are less serious in nature and carry very minimal penalties. However, it is important that you speak to your attorney who will assist you in reviewing the offer and explain the consequences before you decide to take a plea.

Evidence in a DUI Case

The evidence in a DUI case may consist of various things. The most important evidence in a DUI case is the BAC test that was performed. BAC (blood alcohol concentration) may be tested using a breathalyzer or through blood or urine testing. Other evidence includes any statement that may have been made during the traffic stop and subsequent arrest. Further evidence could include a video of your traffic stop, and testimony from the police officer and any witnesses.

Many of these forms of evidence can be overcome during trial by a skilled defense attorney. However, one of the most incriminating pieces of evidence, and often one of the most difficult to resolve, is a statement made by the driver at the time of arrest. For this reason it is important to remember not to make any statements to the police without first consulting with your attorney. Even a small utterance of an apology may later be taken to mean that you knew you had done something wrong.

How Plea Deals Work

It is helpful to understand how a plea deal works. A plea deal is an offer by the prosecutor to agree to reduce the charges against you in exchange for a guilty plea. In most cases of DUI there is simply no reason for prosecutors to want to make such an arrangement. However, if the case is lacking evidence the option may be offered. Plea deals are usually discussed between your attorney and the prosecutor. It is important to talk about the pros and cons of taking such an agreement with your attorney. Most often, the punishment for the lesser crime will be significantly less than that of a DUI conviction. It is important to keep in mind that if the evidence is quite weak you may still want to go to trial on the original charges.

Every case is different and has a unique set of circumstances and evidence. An experienced DUI attorney will be able to review your case and assist in determining the best way to proceed.