If you are facing charges for driving under the suspicion of driving under the influence, there are two different ways you can be convicted. One, you would voluntarily enter a plea of guilty in court, or you would be found guilty by a jury.
At the very first appearance in Court you will be offered a plea bargain. This is an offer for what is believed to be a lower sentence if you plead guilty on that day. The potential consequences for a first time DUI offense include the following:
- 3 to 5 years probation
- Up to 6 months alcohol rehabilitation classes
- Up to one year in county jail
- License suspension
- Insurance consequences
The sentence is stated as a range in the statutes. There is no specific set sentence the Judge is required to give, it will depend on the facts of your case and your criminal history. The point of a plea bargain is for the prosecutor to offer you something that they believe will be lower than what you may get at a full trial, in exchange for a guilty plea. The benefit for prosecutors in offering a plea bargain is to avoid a lengthy trial, but to get as many cases resolved as possible.
However, if you are not represented by a Los Angeles DUI attorney, how would you know if the offer you are being given is not the same as what you would get if you went to trial? Or, how would you know that you would not be offered a better deal aat the second stage of trial? Without the appropriate legal knowledge and experience with the courtroom, you would not know whether you were being offered a good deal, or if you were just being pushed to get your case closed.
For example, Danny was in Court for a first time DUI offense. Prosecutors offered him a plea bargain that involved one week in county jail, alcohol rehabilitation classes for six months and five years of probation. Danny’s experienced DUI attorney had the knowledge he needed and advised Danny to reject the offer. The attorney had spent over 30 years arguing DUI’s in the same courthouse and knew that three years of probation was easily negotiated, as would be no jail time. Taking his attorney’s advice, Danny turned down the offer and proceeded to the Pre Trial haring, which is the second stage of the criminal justice system.
If you are facing criminal charges under California Vehicle Code 23152, or 23153, make the best decision you can and hire a Los Angeles DUI Attorney. The attorney has the knowledge and skills you need so that you can relax and avoid the stress of handling a case yourself. Additionally, the attorney can advise you on what you need to know so that you make an educated decision regarding your case, and not one based on wanting to finish the case as soon as possible.