Pennsylvania DUI Plea Bargaining
Plea bargaining is a process that may be available to those charged with DUI in Pennsylvania. Because of the strong penalties in a driving under the influence conviction, a plea bargain may or may not be beneficial for those facing charges. Plea bargaining typically involves the defendant and prosecutor agreeing to resolve their dispute without going to trial.
Pleading No Contest or Guilty
This agreement usually involves the defendant pleading guilty or no contest to a reduced charge, as well as accepting a lesser sentence than what might otherwise be imposed if found guilty during a trial. It is important to remember that plea bargaining does not guarantee an outcome and this process should only be undertaken after careful consideration of all legal options available.
Accepting a Plea Bargain Might Be Beneficial for Some
The decision to accept or reject a plea bargain offer rests solely on the shoulders of the accused, but it can be beneficial for defendants facing serious consequences such as prison time or large fines. Instead, they can accept a plea bargain that may limit the charge to a lesser offense and reduce their sentence. It is also beneficial for prosecutors, as they can avoid expending resources on lengthy trials and instead focus their attention on other cases.
If you have been charged with DUI in Pennsylvania, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can review your case and advise you of all available legal options, including the possibility of entering into a plea bargain agreement. An attorney will provide invaluable guidance regarding the pros and cons associated with any offer made by the prosecutor.
Factors That May Make an Attorney Advise Against a Plea Bargain
Plea bargaining is not always the best option in a driving under the influence case. An experienced criminal defense attorney will review the evidence and any other relevant factors to determine whether a plea bargain would be beneficial or detrimental for the defendant. Some of these factors include:
- How strong is the prosecution’s case against the defendant?
- Is there anything that could undermine the reliability of an eyewitness account or physical evidence?
- Are there any issues with procedural items such as search and seizure, Miranda rights, etc.?
- Would agreeing to plead guilty expose the defendant to potential civil action?
- What are the risks associated with going to trial versus accepting a plea bargain?
Consulting With Your Lawyer on Whether to Accept a Plea Bargain
If the defense attorney believes that a plea bargain offer is not in their client’s best interests, then they may advise against it and recommend proceeding to trial. Ultimately, the decision between accepting or rejecting a plea bargain agreement is up to the defendant; however, consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney will enable them to make an informed decision based on all legal options available.
The Travis Law Firm – DUI Defense Lawyers
In the event of your arrest for driving under the influence, having a defense attorney by your side can make a big difference. In this difficult time, the Travis Law Firm stands by its clients. You can schedule your free case review by calling (814) 277-2222 or contacting us online. From start to finish, our attorneys are on your side and work hard to have your charges lowered or even dismissed.