If you are charged with a DUI in Philadelphia, you should be aware that you face very serious penalties. However, just because the statutes may provide for jail stays and monetary fines, you may be able to reach a DUI plea bargain and avoid the most serious penalties.
In fact, DUI cases rarely make it all the way to trial. Instead, the vast majority of DUI defendants reach a plea deal to resolve their criminal cases and many of these defendants avoid jail completely.
What Is a DUI Plea Deal?
A plea deal is an agreement that you or your attorney reaches with prosecutors.
Typically, prosecutors may offer a deal of lesser charges or reduced penalties if you save them the time and hassle of trying the case by agreeing to plead guilty.
For example, if you face a one-year jail sentence, prosecutors may offer you a deal where you will be sentenced to probation should you plead guilty -- allowing you to potentially avoid jail time altogether.
Should You Enter a Plea Deal?
There may be several advantages if you enter a plea deal, such as:
- Facing reduced charges,
- Avoiding jail,
- Quickly resolving the issue, and
- Saving money on attorney's fees.
However, there may be disadvantages of entering a plea deal as well. For example, if you are innocent of the crime, you may want to fight your DUI charge. In addition, you should know that a guilty plea is the same as a criminal conviction. So on your criminal record, it will show that you drove drunk.
Contact an Attorney
A DUI plea bargain has some obvious benefits, but there are also potential drawbacks. If you are considering a plea deal, you should work with an experienced DUI attorney. Your attorney can help you review the deal and decide if it is the best option for you.