Plea Vs. Trial In California DUI cases

Plea Vs. Trial In California DUI cases

  • October 21, 2015
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Pleading Guilty to DUI - DUI Lawyer LAIf you are facing DUI charges in California, it’s always best to retain the services of an experienced DUI attorney who can expertly guide you through the forbidding court system. On the whole, there are two common courses of action in these cases – a plea bargain and a trial. A skillful lawyer will be able to advise you on what is in your best interest after (s)he has looked into the circumstances of your case and examined the evidence.

Plea bargain in a nutshell

Plea bargain means the defendant either pleads guilty or in a certain way in order to get some concessions in return. The prosecutor may concede to reduce the charge or the penalty or may decide to dismiss charges in another case.

It should be noted that plea bargains are offered at the prosecutor’s discretion. Plea deals can be mutually favorable, mostly in terms of time, stress and even money. However, accepting a plea deal has its consequences, which should be carefully considered before going for the bargain. Plea deals are not obligatory, and if its conditions are not beneficial enough for you, you can refuse it and decide to go to trial.

It’s very important to let your attorney do the talking during negotiations, which are also not binding until an agreement is made. For example, should you admit something during the talks, the prosecutor can drop the deal and exploit that as evidence against you.

But, even if you reach an agreement, that’s still not the end of it. The next step is appearing in court for the judge to decide whether to allow or reject the plea bargain. If the plan is rejected, your case is going to trial.

What to have in mind before accepting a plea deal

First all, it’s important to understand you will be pleading guilty. Such an admission inevitably entails having those charges in your criminal record permanently. It also means having your insurance rates jacked up. Plus, you’ll still have to pay certain fees as required by the agreement. So, going for a plea will save you the legal fees of a trial, but the long-term consequences might be even more costly when you put them into perspective. Your attorney will advise you on what your chances are in court in order for you to able to make an informed decision.

Why could going to court be better?

It’s in the prosecutor’s interest to close your case as soon as possible because they want to save their time and clear their schedule. They will generally try to convince you that your case is open and shut, but that is hardly ever true. A host of circumstances could work to you your advantage and a surprising number of DUI charges is dismissed altogether. Mitigating factors are faulty procedures and/ or improperly obtained results of your blood alcohol level, to name just a few.

Going to trial and having the charges dismissed would mean that you don’t have them in your permanent criminal file. In addition to that, you would not incur any trial costs, nor would your insurance rates increase. Of course, this all dependent on the successful outcome of the trial.

To conclude, the wisest thing to do when you are facing DUI charges is to hire an experienced DUI lawyer. (S)he will be able to assess your case accurately and present you all the options. Before making any hasty decisions that you might regret bitterly later in life, contact professionals. Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyers are at your disposal. Call us today for a free consultation.