Plea Bargain Away!

When is it a good time to plea bargain on a driving under the influence case? This is a fair question, and the answer is it is always good to see what the prosecutor is willing to do to resolve a DUI case. A defendant does not have to accept a deal or an offer, but he would be foolish not to assess what type of deal can be obtained instead of going straight to trial. Every case is individual unto itself. No two cases are alike.

So what is a plea bargain you may ask? A plea bargain is where a qualified Seattle DUI attorney, after reviewing all the evidence the government has, and after fully investigating the DUI case, negotiates with the prosecuting attorney to amend or reduce a DUI charge. These negotiations often happen during a DUI pre-trial hearing, but can also happen any time while the case is pending in the court. Often the negotiations take place via email, phone calls or even in person. Negotiations do not just have to happen at the courthouse.

Sometimes attorneys have to litigate legal issues at a motion hearing before any productive plea bargaining takes place. Typically, though, much of the negotiations take place at pre-trial hearings, which are set by the court for the purpose of forcing the parties to get together and talk about the case.  Some typical reduced results from plea bargaining on a DUI case are: Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangerment and/or Negligent Driving. If no plea bargain can be reached, well … that is generally when the parties set the case for a jury trial.

Whether a plea bargain is acceptable really depends on the evidence and the defendant’s personal situation. Thus, it is always important to retain a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer who will aggressively contest all the government’s evidence and fight for the best outcome for his client. It is a DUI defendant’s right to have a Seattle DUI lawyer on his case, and exercising this right is not frowned upon by the court or the government. In fact, they actually expect it. So … ‘lawyer up’ if charged with DUI in the State of Washington.

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