Can I Negotiate a Plea Deal for a DUI in California?

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Can I Negotiate a Plea Deal for a DUI in California?

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If you’ve been charged with a DUI in California, the penalties you can face are severe. Unfortunately, many believe they will walk away with a slap on the wrist, especially if charged for the first time. However, this is far from the truth. As such, understanding what your legal options are is critical. For example, connecting with a DUI lawyer in Sacramento, California may lead you to pursue a plea deal. If you’re unsure what this is or how it could benefit your DUI case, you’ll want to keep reading as the following blog explores what you must know about these matters.

What Is a Plea Deal?

A plea deal is an agreement or compromise reached by the prosecution and criminal defendant. Essentially, this allows the prosecutor to reduce the charges against someone in exchange for them to enter a guilty plea. The main goal of this is to avoid intense penalties and a trial. This benefits the protection as they can walk away with a successful conviction, while the defendant can face reduced charges and skip a costly and lengthy trial.

It’s critical to note that agreeing to a plea deal relinquishes certain rights you are afforded as a criminal defendant. For example, you will not be able to fight your case in court, do not have a right to a trial in front of a jury of your peers, and cannot appeal. As such, this is not a decision that should be made lightly or without first consulting an experienced lawyer.

Is This an Option for a DUI Charge?

If charged with driving under the influence, the prosecutor may offer you a plea deal. Generally, this involves reducing your charges to a “wet reckless,” which does not warrant an arrest when pulled over by police. This charge, though still a crime, is less intense as it is a reckless driving charge involving alcohol.

The penalties for a DUI in California include three to five years of probation, the potential for up to 6 months in jail, and a minimum license suspension of six months. A wet reckless carries lower penalties, as the maximum time you can face behind bars is 90 days, a reduced one to two-year probation period, and no automatic license suspension.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If facing a charge for a DUI in California, it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, especially if you would like to consider a plea bargain. If you do not have representation, the prosecution may take advantage of this to offer you a less-than-ideal offer under the guide as a great opportunity. However, your attorney can fight to ensure the deal is fair.

When you’re in trouble, the Law Offices of Dale R. Gomes can help. We understand how complex these matters can be, so we will do everything possible to help you. Connect with us today to learn how we can represent you.