The prosecution may offer you a plea bargain after you’re arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in California. Do plea bargains work? Is it a good idea for you to accept one of these deals? In many cases, plea bargains do work to resolve your case and reduce the penalties you would otherwise face.
However, not all plea bargains are in your best interests. Let’s review the facts about plea bargains and some of the common deals offered in DUI cases. You should also consider the results of accepting a plea bargain with this article.
Basic Information About a Plea Bargain in California
In the simplest terms, a plea bargain is a deal offered by the prosecution. This deal ends your criminal case by requiring you to plead no contest to a lesser criminal charge. A “no contest” plea will appear as a conviction on your criminal record.
Although plea bargains do show up on your criminal record, they also lessen the penalties you would otherwise face if convicted. The prosecution may offer you less jail time or lower fines to get you to accept a plea bargain.
Generally, it’s recommended that you speak to a DUI lawyer before you accept a plea bargain. Not all plea bargains are fair to you. Call (310) 997-4688 to speak with a law firm about the plea deal you were offered.
Common Plea Bargains for California DUIs
You might be offered a plea bargain — commonly “wet” reckless charges — after you are arrested for a DUI. Wet reckless charges are only used as part of DUI plea bargains. In order to accept the plea bargain, you plead no contest under California Vehicle Code Section 23103.5. Drivers who accept wet reckless plea deals may face:
- Fines of up to $1,000.
- Jail time of up to 90 days.
These penalties might seem high, but let’s compare them to the penalties for a DUI conviction. A first-time DUI may result in thousands of dollars in fines and:
- Jail time of up to six months.
- Use of an ignition interlock device (IID) for six months.
- Court-ordered DUI classes.
As you can see, a DUI conviction comes with harsher penalties than a wet reckless plea bargain. However, both DUI and wet reckless charges are priorable, which means that both charges remain on your driving record. If you are convicted of another DUI while these charges are on your record, you face increased penalties.
Other Possible Plea Bargains for a DUI
A DUI lawyer in California may help you secure a different kind of plea bargain after your arrest. In some cases, a lawyer could help you get a plea bargain involving “dry” reckless charges. Dry reckless charges are also called reckless driving charges. They are prosecuted under California Vehicle Code Section 23103.
Dry reckless charges come with penalties that are very similar to wet reckless charges. However, wet reckless charges include a note that your offense included the use of alcohol or drugs. Dry reckless charges do not include this note and they are not priorable.
Therefore, dry reckless plea bargains are often preferable. You should talk to a lawyer to see if a dry reckless deal is right for you.
Other Methods to Resolve DUI Charges in California
You do not have to accept a plea bargain for all DUI offenses in California. A lawyer will investigate your case and recommend different steps to resolve your charges. In many situations, a lawyer can work to block evidence against you.
Blocking evidence may weaken the prosecution’s case. In some cases, this could allow a lawyer to get your charges dropped. You do not face any penalties if California courts dismiss your DUI charges. This allows you to move forward with your life.
Your lawyer can also defend you in front of a judge and jury. You could be found not-guilty after you are accused of a DUI, allowing you to avoid DUI penalties and charges on your criminal record. Learn more with a California law firm.
Find Out if Plea Bargains Work in California
You might wonder if DUI plea bargains are worth it in California. These deals can reduce the penalties you’d face for a DUI. In many cases, lawyers recommend that you accept a plea bargain. You can discuss the exact deal you are offered with the Simmrin Law Group. Allow a DUI lawyer to look over the deal right now. You can get started with a free consultation.
Call us at (310) 997-4688 or fill out our online contact form to learn more about DUI cases in California.