When a person has been charge with drinking under the influence in a Los Angeles DUI Case , they will be given a date to appear in Court. This date is their arraignment. At the arraignment, the person’s rights will be read, the charges against them, and the potential consequences they may face. At the arraignment, they will also be given a plea bargain. A plea bargain is an offer made by prosecutors. If you accept the offer that day, you will plead guilty, and the case will be concluded.
The purpose of a plea bargain is to offer a set sentence, that may be lower than what a person could have gotten at Trial. This allows the person to know exactly what they are facing, rather than take the chance in Court. This seems like a great deal, however, it may not be if the person accepting the plea does not know if the offer is a good one.
Let’s consider an example. David has been charged with driving under the influence. He does not want to deal with the whole ordeal and case. He wants it to be over as soon as possible. He appears at the arraignment without an attorney. He has no criminal record, and his blood alcohol level is .09. He failed to stop at a stop sign and was pulled over and asked to submit to a field sobriety test. He was compliant and offered officers all the information that they needed.
At the arraignment, David is read his rights, the charge and the possible sentence. The statute for a DUI includes a potential range of jail time. It could vary based upon the facts of the case and the person’s criminal background. David is offered a fine, 3 years probation and a week in jail. He considers the potential sentence he may face as dictate by the statute and accepts the offer.
What David doesn’t know, and would if he had spoken to and hired a Los Angeles DUI Attorney to represent him is that the offer he accepted is not a good one. First off, David’s blood alcohol level is low. There is a possibility that he could have had the charges reduced with the right negotiation and argument. Furthermore, there is rarely jail time with a low blood alcohol content, and with no criminal history. David would not know that unless he had spoken to an attorney.
If David had been patient, and consulted with a legal professional, he would have been better educated as to what offers were good ones to take. David might have benefited from a plea of not guilty, and further negotiations with prosecutors. If you find yourself in David’s situation, do not hesitate, contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer as soon as possible so that you are better informed of the decisions you make regarding your DUI charges.