A plea deal or a plea bargain, in exchange of a guilty plea, is an arrangement between the prosecutor and the defendant to reduce a criminal charge to a lesser offense. [Tweet “In some cases, the defendant may be asked to plead guilty to the original charge in return for a more lenient sentence.”] If you are facing a driving under the influence (DUI) charge, you should contact an experienced Las Vegas DUI lawyer to learn if a DUI plea deal is the most advantageous option for your case.
The plea bargain process varies according to the court and jurisdiction. Some courts require that you wait until a specific criminal proceeding before a plea bargain can made. In some cases, the prosecutor may offer you a plea bargain after your drunk driving arrest and before the formal criminal charges have been filed.
If your case goes to trial, a plea deal can still be arranged by your attorney. Depending on the circumstances of your DUI charge, a plea bargain can have several advantages. If your DUI is reduced to reckless driving, you can avoid the stigma that comes with a drunk-driving charge as well as serious criminal penalties, such as incarceration and a suspended driver’s license. For drunk driving cases involving serious personal injury or death, a DUI plea deal may be your best option. A plea bargain can also help you save a great deal of time and money that you would otherwise have to spend if you opt to have your drunk driving lawyer take your case to trial. In addition, you will not have to take a risk on the outcome as you will already know what your sentence will be.
On the downside, a plea bargain does require that you plead guilty to a crime, which will inevitably impact on your personal record, though it will likely be a minor offense such as a traffic violation. The terms of the plea bargain will also stipulate the sentence you will receive in exchange for your guilty plea, which in some cases may require alcohol education courses or treatment. Once the prosecutor and your DUI attorney have come to an agreement on the DUI plea deal, it becomes legally binding and cannot be changed. In any event, if you are currently facing a criminal charge for DUI, contact an attorney that specializes in DUI for a legal counsel in Las Vegas.
Nolo – Plea Bargain Benefits