If you've been charged with a first-offense DUI, then your prosecutor might give you a plea offer. This offer guarantees that you won't have to appear in court and take your chances with a judge. You accept a pre-set sentence and plead guilty.
Plea offers have benefits. Typically, your offer will be at the bottom end of potential charges. You could get off lightly with a more lenient sentence than you would if your case came before a judge.
However, before you accept an offer, you can talk to a DUI attorney. In some cases, they might tell you to take the deal; in others, they might get you an even better outcome.
What can a DUI attorney do for you here?
Negotiate a Charge Reduction
While prosecutors often offer defendants a plea offer, this isn't the only way they can reduce charges on a DUI case. They sometimes give defendants a formal charge reduction instead of a plea deal.
Here, you get a better outcome. For example, your prosecutor might agree to let you keep your license. This is obviously better than having it suspended.
Or, they might agree to strike off your charge so that it won't count as a prior offense if you are ever charged with a DUI in the future. This is a particularly useful offer. Second DUI offenses incur higher penalties.
However, prosecutors don't typically offer a charge reduction to a defendant directly. They tend to make a take-it-or-leave-it plea deal.
A DUI attorney can assess whether you might get a charge reduction. They can negotiate with your prosecutor to try to persuade them to offer this kind of deal. You could walk away with your license and a clean record.
Mount a DUI Defense
Sometimes, you have to simply accept a DUI charge. However, in some cases, you can mount a defense against the charge or part of the arrest process. You might even be able to do this if you were technically over the legal alcohol limit.
For example, you might have failed a field sobriety test because your eyes were bloodshot and your driving was erratic. However, if you were driving home after a double shift at work, then tiredness could explain your erratic driving. If you have allergies, then your eyes will be bloodshot.
These mitigating factors could give you a viable defense. If your lawyer can pick apart the tests the officers made when they pulled you over, then their case might fall apart even if you did have a couple of drinks.
To find out more about your options, talk to a DUI attorney.Share