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Nicholas W.

William R.

Criminal Defense Experience - 40+ Years

Getting the best “Plea Bargain” in a DUI Case

Most people who get arrested for a DUI have remorse for drinking and driving because they-know better.  After being arrested, most everyone  continues to “kick themselves” for getting a DUI,   There is the anxiety of “What will happen to me now?”  You need to move forward and do things that can improve your situation instead of dwelling on the past.   You should immediately set a DMV Hearing within 10 days to challenge the pink sheet administrative suspension  you were served so you can keep your license as long as possible and do what will be required to get your license back if there is a suspension.  There are other things you can also do that can be very helpful in  “Plea Bargaining”  your case to minimize consequences or assist in trying to get a lesser charge, like getting in the DUI program, doing a MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Class  and AA/NA meetings.  An attorney can review your case for possible defenses as well as advise you on steps to take to help you get the best resolution in your case..

Everyone’s first worry is “Will I go to Jail?”  While jail is a possibility, it is highly unlikely in most first offenses.  COVID has definitely impacted sentencing.  Pre COVID, it was routine to get Public Work service (Cal Trans Trash Pickup) or volunteer work as part of any resolution, but COVID issues resulted in Public Work Service being discontinued and many Courts not ordering volunteer work..  As we return to a post COVID era, those prior sentencing options may re-emerge.  Sheriffs CPAC electronic home detention program is often available now in cases requiring jail,   Addressing the alcohol or drug issue involved in your arrest carries a lot of weight in negotiating settlements in these cases.  Getting signed up for the DUI program  as well as attending a MADD class and in many cases doing a couple AA/NA meetings a week on line or in person  before Court shows you care and are addressing the issue.  The DUI Program and MADD are required in almost every resolution anyway.  DMV requires require enrollment in the DUI program to get your license reinstated as quickly as possible after a DUI administrative or conviction suspension.  Getting enrolled in the DUI program can take several weeks and delay getting your  license back if you wait to enroll until after the suspension..

In negotiating a DUI case, the attorney will often  share a defendant’s background, education, and career information with the District Attorney.  It may be helpful to have a Resume with educational and career achievements.  Military service is always helpful in either qualifying for diversion if eligible or negotiating a plea deal.  In resolving these cases,it can also be  important to  share a person’s life challenges and hardships as well as the effects of a DUI on an individuals career, goals, or immigration status.

While DUI cases are defined by the driving, the individuals attitude, field sobriety tests, prior record and alcohol or drug level,  there are many other considerations that can be brought into the “plea bargaining” discussion,including things you have done since the arrest to help get the best resolution possible,.like doing the DUI Program, MADD Class and  AA/NA meetings.



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