It can be difficult to know what you should do if you’re accused of driving under the influence (DUI). Prosecutors and police officers may try to convince you to plead guilty, especially if you took a test that showed that your blood alcohol content (BAC) was over the legal limit.
However, pleading guilty to a DUI is rarely in your best interest in California. Before you enter a guilty plea, make sure you understand your other options and the results of your decision. You can even speak with a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles by contacting the Simmrin Law Group now.
Results of Pleading Guilty to a DUI
Pleading guilty to a DUI in California means that you are admitting that you broke the law and that you are accepting a conviction from the court system. It does not matter that you will not be convicted by a jury. A DUI conviction will be placed on your criminal record if you plead guilty.
You can face the same penalties you would face if convicted by a jury if you plead guilty. This means that, for a first-time DUI accusation, you could face:
- Fines of up to $2,000
- Jail time of up to six months
- License suspension of up to one year
It can be incredibly difficult to walk back a guilty plea in California’s court system, so you should not make this decision lightly.
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Arguments to Plead Guilty to a DUI
Prosecutors and law enforcement officers often try to convince drivers accused of a DUI to plead guilty. You should understand that these individuals do not have your best interests at heart. They are primarily concerned with securing a conviction by any means necessary.
They may try to convince you that allowing your case to go to court will result in harsher penalties. However, this is often not the case. Make sure that you speak with a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles before you plead guilty.
In fact, it is highly recommended that you get legal help in your corner before you even discuss your DUI charges. Everything you say to a prosecutor or police officer can be turned against you, later on, so do not talk about your case until you’ve spoken to a DUI lawyer in California.
Plea Bargains and Guilty Pleas in California
You should be aware that accepting a plea bargain in the state of California requires you to plead guilty. In cases involving plea bargains, you will be pleading guilty to a less-severe offense in exchange for lowered penalties, but it is still a conviction that will show up on your criminal record.
Prosecutors may offer you a plea bargain right away, hoping that you will accept the deal without looking it over. These deals are not always in your favor. Some of them will be almost as serious as your initial DUI charges.
A DUI lawyer can work to get your charges reduced in Los Angeles. In some cases, they can bring down the charges to an acceptable level. In this situation, your lawyer may advise you to plead guilty in order to accept the plea bargain.
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Your Legal Options After a DUI Arrest
Pleading guilty to a DUI charge should not be your first choice after you are arrested in California. Even if your BAC was over the legal limit, a professional lawyer could be able to help you face these charges. Your lawyer might be able to:
Get Your Charges Reduced
We’ve discussed plea bargains a bit. Your lawyer could be able to build a strong case in order to get your charges dropped a reasonable amount. In some cases, a legal professional might advise you to accept a plea bargain for a dry reckless charge, for example.
Get Your Charges Dismissed
Sometimes, your DUI charges can be thrown out entirely. This is more likely if you were stopped by a police officer without reasonable cause. An illegal traffic stop can end the case against you, even if your BAC was over the legal limit when you were stopped.
Resolve Your Charges in Court
A criminal defense lawyer can thoroughly investigate your case after you are charged with a DUI. If your lawyer believes your case is strong enough, they may take it to court to argue for you in front of a judge and jury. They can work to secure you a not-guilty verdict, so you can move forward with your life.
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Get Help Before Pleading Guilty to a DUI
You don’t have to just accept a guilty plea if you are accused of a DUI. Make sure you understand all your legal options by reaching out to the Simmrin Law Group today for a FREE consultation. Call (310) 997-4688 or complete our online contact form to speak with a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles.