Troy MI License Restoration Blog

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Plea Bargaining In Drunk or Drugged Driving Matters

Should I Enter a Plea Bargain to Resolve My DUI Case?

Most criminal cases are resolved through an agreement between the defendant and the prosecutor. These agreements are commonly referred to as plea bargains and usually involve a compromise including a plea of guilty for a shorter sentence or less serious charge. Plea bargains are popular because both the prosecution and defense have incentives to avoid a full trial. Criminal trials are usually time consuming and expensive. In addition to sparing the parties the expense of time and money, plea bargains allow a defendant to avoid risking a finding of guilt with all the potential punishment that comes along with it. These agreements are encouraged by the court system because of overburdened dockets and overcrowded detention centers.

A defendant may agree to plead guilty for:
• A lesser charge than the one he or she originally faced;
• In exchange for a more lenient sentence; and/or 
• So that other related charges could be dismissed. 

Many factors go into deciding whether or not to agree to a plea bargain, including the seriousness of the charge, the relative strength and weakness of the evidence, whether the law being applied to the facts is clear or not and the chances of a guilty verdict. 

The benefits of a plea bargain are worth considering:
• If a case is decided at a trial, the defendant may be found not guilty. But, he or she also may be found guilty and serve the maximum sentence. Most people prefer certainty and want to avoid the risk involved with a trial verdict.
• A defendant may be able to plead guilty to a lesser charge and avoid having to spend time in jail, and the practical problems that come with a jail sentence such as losing his or her job and being labeled a criminal.
• Many plea bargains involve a guilty plea to a less severe charge. Pleading to a lesser charge may result in fewer consequences in the future.
• The prosecutor may also offer a lesser sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. Though not as attractive an offer as a reduction in the charge, the difference in time served is important.
• Defendants can put the issue behind them and move on more quickly, instead of grinding through the criminal trial process.

Plea bargains are available in a variety of criminal cases, including those involving driving under the influence and driving while intoxicated. Though Martin Lievois works hard to protect his clients’ rights and freedoms, often the best option is to accept a plea bargain. If you or a family member are facing DUI charges and you want to discuss your options, call Michigan DUI and DWI defense attorney Martin Lievois in Troy at (248)419-0566 or in Flint at (810)250-4550 today.

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| Phone: 810-232-3223
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