After California law enforcement arrested you for driving under the influence, you have a lot of concerns about your future. Could you reduce your charges somehow?
The American Bar Association examines plea bargains and how they work. Learn about your options for obtaining a favorable outcome for your specific circumstances.
How plea bargains work
You may save yourself and the court time by resolving your DUI out of court. With a plea bargain, all parties must agree on how to resolve a court case. Either party may suggest a plea bargain, but both must agree to its terms. As the defendant, you must plead guilty to one of several charges or a less-severe charge. You may have to agree to a guilty plea as charged in exchange for the prosecution recommending more compassionate sentencing. Even then, the judge does not have an obligation to honor the request for a lenient sentence.
Benefits of plea bargains
By working toward a compromise, you save time and possibly money, and you may sidestep harsher penalties. For the prosecution, it does not have to risk a potentially extensive and expensive trial. Court systems benefit from plea bargains by not conducting a trial.
How victims’ rights groups change the plea bargain landscape
The prevalence of victims’ rights groups changed the face of plea bargains. New statutes cropping up because of victims’ rights groups now give defendants a say in shaping their plea bargains.
You do not have to accept your DUI charges sitting down. A plea bargain may help you regain a sense of control over your legal case and your life.