Whether you watch crime dramas on television or have experience within the criminal justice system, chances are that you know at least something about plea bargains. A plea bargain is widely accepted as a way of avoiding harsher penalties after being accused of a crime. Even innocent people accept plea bargains as a way to quicken the pace of the criminal trial process and, at time, stay out of prison.
If you have been charged with a DUI, you may not want to face the uncertainty of a trial. That said, a plea bargain isn’t in your best interest if you don’t have a strong attorney arguing on your behalf. While some plea bargains will benefit the accused, some can make things worse. Here’s a brief rundown on what you should know.
Should I Accept the Standard Deal?
In many court systems throughout the country, there are what are known as standardized plea deals. These deals are put in place and offered to people accused of high volume offense, such as driving under the influence. The deals cannot typically be deviated from, giving the accused a sort of “take it or leave it” option.
While these deals may be written in stone, an experienced attorney can fine tune them with their client’s interests and needs in mind. For example, an attorney can ask for a modification of community service or court ordered classes. While a district attorney certainly doesn’t have to accept these modification requests, they often will if such modifications do not stray too far from the requirements of the standard plea deal.
Can I Get a Better Deal?
It is almost never a good idea for a defendant to attempt to work out their own deal with a prosecutor. Keep in mind that anything a person says during a meeting can be used against them in court. This is why it is so important to have an attorney speaking on your behalf. A local attorney knows the nuances of the local court system and often the personalities of the judge’s that sit the bench.
Your DUI attorney can speak to the prosecutor and try to work out a deal that meets your needs. An attorney knows how to point out the deficits in the prosecutor’s case and can sometimes secure a plea bargain that is better than the standard deal. Your attorney will discuss your options with you and help you make the determination whether the standard deal or a unique plea bargain would be best in your situation.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Pennsylvania, reach out to our experienced team of DUI attorneys. We know the local laws and we know how to help you. Call us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a PA DUI lawyer and discover more about your legal options. We are ready to represent you and utilize the law on your behalf.