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Plea deal dilemma: Think twice before taking a DUI plea deal

On Behalf of | May 31, 2023 | Criminal Law |

Most criminal cases are resolved through plea deals. Therefore, you will likely get a plea deal option in exchange for a reduced sentence or lesser charges if you are charged with drunk driving (DUI).

It may seem like a lifeline amidst the uncertainty of a DUI trial, and the allure of resolving the case swiftly can be hard to resist. However, accepting a plea deal is not always ideal, and you should not rush into one without having a complete picture of the potential implications. Here is why.

You have to give up some rights

You have certain constitutional rights that you automatically waive when you accept a plea deal. For instance, taking a plea deal means losing the right to a fair trial, the right to confront witnesses and the right against self-incrimination. As such, you will not have an opportunity to get heard since a plea deal negates the need for a trial.

You will end up with a criminal record

At the core of a plea deal is admitting that you broke the law and are ready for the penalties. A conviction for the offense will show on your criminal record, and it may affect your future quality of life. You may find securing employment or housing hard due to your ‘criminal past’.

It sets you up for harsher penalties later

Repeat DUI offenders get stiffer penalties than first-timers. Therefore, if you accept a plea deal for drunk driving, you are setting yourself up for heftier punishments if you are ever charged with a similar offense.

If you are faced with this crucial decision of whether to accept a plea dea, it’s in your best interests to seek informed guidance to assess your case, explore potential defenses and provide direction on the best course of action. It can help protect your rights and increase the chances of achieving the most favorable outcome in your DUI case.

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