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Troy MI License Restoration Blog

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Practicality of Plea Bargain Agreements

Can a Guilty Verdict on a Lesser Charge be seen as a Win?

Depending on the circumstances and the charges, you may be able to avoid a more serious DUI charge by pleading guilty to a lesser charge.  This is known as a plea bargain agreement and is widely used in the criminal justice system. If evidence supporting a more serious charge is weak and a defendant does not want to risk a conviction, a defendant and prosecutor may agree to dropping that charge in exchange for a guilty plea to a less serious charge. If no such agreement can be worked out, the case will go to trial.

Former Detroit Lion Nick Fairley was acquitted of a DUI charge in an Alabama but was found guilty of reckless driving and fined $500 in February, according to the Detroit Free Press. "I feel great," he is quoted as saying. "Right now this is behind me, and I want to move forward." He did move forward after the trial, signing a $5 million (up to $8 million with incentives) contract with the St. Louis Rams in March, according to ESPN.

Fairley was arrested at a May 2012 traffic stop after he drove an estimated 100 M.P.H. Evidence of intoxication was mostly circumstantial because he refused to take a blood alcohol test after his arrest. During this high-profile case, the following was presented to the jury: 

• The arresting officer testified that he observed Fairley speeding and he pursued him for nearly three miles before he pulled over. 

• The officer told jurors that Fairley was obviously impaired and admitted to drinking and driving after he was pulled over. The officer stated he could smell alcohol through the vehicle's open window. 

• Fairley’s fiancé was in the vehicle at the time and contradicted the officer’s testimony, stating the smell was from open cups of alcohol.

After a DUI trial you may not be in a position to sign a multi-million dollar contract like Fairley, but if afterward the penalties you face are only a fraction of what they could have been if convicted on all charges, you may feel like a million bucks.

If you are in need of the DUI defense attorney, call the Law Offices of Martin Lievois in Troy at 248-419-1566 or in Flint at 810-250-4550 to discuss the situation, evaluate your case and talk about your options.


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| Phone: 810-232-3223
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| Phone: 248-498-2525

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