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DUI » DUI Defense » Should I Accept a Plea Bargain?

Should I Accept a Plea Bargain?

Plea Bargaining: Pros and Cons

An important issue you may need to consider in regard to your DUI case is whether to accept a plea bargain offered by the prosecuting attorney. You might find that the prosecution may wish to offer you a "deal" where you plead guilty but to a lesser charge or penalties. This can avoid the time and expense associated with taking your case through to a trial. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your drunk driving charges and the offer made by the prosecution, accepting a plea bargain may or may not be in your best interests. It is best to refrain from agreeing to a plea offer without first consulting your attorney.

Pros of Accepting a Plea Bargain

  • You won't have to deal with the stress of a criminal trial.
  • You will likely avoid the maximum sentence and accept reduced penalties.
  • You may save money from attorney and court fees, as well as lost wages.

Cons of Accepting a Plea Bargain

  • You are not exercising your right to a trial by jury of your peers.
  • Even if innocent, you may accept guilt just to avoid the risk of criminal trial.
  • You will not have the ability to file an appeal later down the line.

With a plea bargain, you may be able to avoid maximum penalties. You may be able to face lesser charges. However, this situation does involve you pleading guilty to a crime, and this will show upon your criminal record. It is therefore crucial to carefully weigh your options before accepting any offer presented to you by the prosecuting attorney. Make sure your lawyer has a chance to thoroughly review the offer so you can determine whether this is truly in your best interests.

Work with a Knowledgeable Tampa DUI Attorney

Only a lawyer who is experienced in criminal defense and the defense of DUI charges in particular will be able to properly advise you. At Thomas & Paulk, a key part of our legal practice is devoted to DUI defense. We represent clients in Tampa and throughout Hillsborough County in the face of all kinds of misdemeanor and felony DUI charges, using our knowledge of these particular cases and our experience to guide our clients in the right direction. Whether you have just been arrested for drunk driving or have already been offered a plea bargain by the prosecuting attorney, you can count on the honest, straightforward advice you will get from our firm.

We will take the time to review your case from every angle to determine how we can best assist you. With more than 20 years of experience, we are confident that we can properly assess the situation on your behalf. Our DUI lawyers know what strategies work in challenging DUI evidence and can determine if we have a better chance of fighting your charges in court to secure an acquittal or even a dismissal on your behalf. You may be surprised to find that a seemingly hopeless case can go in your favor because of a procedural error or violation of your rights.

Contact a Tampa DUI attorney at our firm today for a confidential, free case review.

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