Plea bargaining is simply a negotiation between your attorney and the prosecutor to dismiss or reduce the charges that may be pending against you. These type of negotiations can also be very effective at obtaining dismissals, reductions in penalties like eliminating jail time, in exchange for community service. For example, in a recent DUI case although the prosecutor was demanding jail time, we were able to persuade the Judge to allow our client to be placed on electronic monitoring in lieu of serving time in a jail cell.
In addition, when there are aggravating circumstances presence, the terms that the prosecutor, Judge or legislature dictates, can still be modified by the negotiation and skill of an experienced DUI lawyer to trade-off harsh consequences.
Many new clients, and those potential clients seeking advice on how our firm can assist them view DUI penalties as if they were a specific, set in stone formula, with no room for alteration or modification. People not familiar with this area of the law are very surprised to find out that every legal offense from a DUI case to a manslaughter offense are quoted in ranges, rather than specific finite penalties.
For example, clients are greatly surprised that I may first offense driving under the influence of alcohol, that this misdemeanor carries with it between no time in jail, and six months in jail. It should be obvious by this example that inexperienced Los Angeles DUI attorney has substantial room to negotiate on his client’s behalf. Clearly, it is every attorneys priority to maintain his client’s freedom and good record at all costs.
Many clients oversimplify the law that they frequently don’t fully understand,by making assumptions about the consequences of their case. For example, clients frequently assume that one’s blood-alcohol level does not impact the length of a state-mandated alcohol program for anyone convicted of a driving under the influence offense in California. Nothing could be further from the truth.. Programs on first offense is range from three months to nine months. Typically, a three-month alcohol program is ordered for those people with blood-alcohol levels of .14 or under. A nine-month program is frequently requested by the prosecutor if one’s blood-alcohol is .15 or more.
Frequently, by strategically having our clients attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and obtaining a written sign in sheet prior to negotiating a plea bargain, prosecutors frequently are willing to trade off these meetings and allow our clients to do the short alcohol program which saves our clients hundreds of hours of time, not to mention a lot of money.
Reducing a DUI charge in Los Angeles to a lesser offense through effective plea-bargaining can also avoid the expense and embarrassment of the dreaded ignition interlock device which was ordered on all people convicted of a DUI, and who own the vehicle after July 1, 2010.
Our attorneys frequently hear clients say, is there any difference between being represented by an experienced DUI defense lawyer, a public defender, or just going in on your own in pleading guilty. The answer is clear. Clients always benefit, from the experience and courtroom skill by recognizing the weakness in evidence, the value of strategic building of rehabilitative efforts voluntarily commenced,and the power of effective plea-bargaining with prosecutors who now see our clients not just his case numbers but as real people with much more positive aspects that appears on the pages of an arrest report.