Plea bargains have become commonplace to those facing criminal charges, including DWI charges. Some defendants accept a plea deal without much consideration.
Although a plea bargain can offer drunk driving defendants several benefits, you should know what you are giving up before accepting the offer.
How do plea bargains work?
After your arrest on DWI charges, a prosecutor may approach you with talk of a plea deal that could improve your situation. They may offer to reduce your charges or perhaps drop some of them if you agree to enter a guilty plea.
What are the advantages for defendants?
One of the most compelling advantages of a plea deal is that you trade the risks and uncertainty of going to trial for a guaranteed or promised outcome. If you take your case to court, you could lose, but accepting a plea deal usually holds few if any surprises.
Four other potential advantages include the following:
- It may keep you out of jail altogether or reduce your time behind bars.
- It may lead to a lighter sentence overall.
- It may lead to the conclusion of your case faster than going to trial.
Of course, there are also disadvantages to taking a plea bargain. For example, if you are innocent, you give up your right to a fair trial. However, even innocent DWI defendants often feel pressured to accept a deal.
The decision to take a drunk driving plea deal is yours alone. However, it is wise to learn about the process of plea bargaining and to seek experienced legal guidance. Doing so can help you avoid a deal that benefits the prosecution but leaves you unprotected.