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DUI Plea Bargain Agreement
Most DUI cases across the Nation are resolved through plea negotiations, and a good plea bargain is often in your best interest. The decision of whether to plead guilty or stand trial is an important and complex one. This decision will be based on many factors including your ability to withstand the consequences of a conviction when held against an objective evaluation of how likely it may be to win a trial.Information Used To Evaluate the Case
You should make the decision about pleading guilty only after your lawyer has explained to you all of the evidence in your case and how this evidence will present before a jury. If you’ve chosen a DUI attorney with experience in the court where you case is pending, then he/she may be able to tell you what your judge is like at trial, and how the jurors will perceive your case.
There are big differences among courts. Some judges allow voir dire, others don’t, some will place limits on opening statements or cross-examination while others won’t, etc. Different communities may view DUI cases different from others, and these differences might be discussed as well. These regional differences can have a big influence on your ability to win your case at trial.
Your lawyer may also discuss with you possible defenses to the breath or blood test, the cost of expert witnesses and their ability to possibly help defend your case. The same is true relative to any factual defenses, such as how your age or medical condition may have impacted your ability to perform on any field tasks administered. Once you have discussed all of this information with your lawyer you will be ready to make the decision of what path your lawyer can take to try and best protect your rights and interests.Plea Bargaining
Plea bargaining is what happens when a prosecutor offers to reduce a charge in exchange for a plea of guilty. Statistically speaking, most drunk driving cases throughout the state of Michigan are resolved in this way. Plea bargains may be obtained in two ways: the prosecution may offer it or your defense attorney may ask for one. If the prosecution looks at your case and decides that you are eligible for a plea bargain, your lawyer may need to negotiate with them to reach a better deal.Different Pleas a Person Can Enter
The first time the issue of a plea will come up as at the first court appearance, which is called an arraignment. Because your case is just getting started, and because in most cases no evidence will have been yet received by your lawyer, most of the time you will plead not guilty at the arraignment. If your case is being arraigned before a magistrate, then you will not be able to plead guilty at this time even if you wanted to do so.
When the time comes, you will have three options; continue your plea of not guilty and set the case for trial or plead guilty or plead no contest. No contest pleas are available if there is either some kind of accident where somebody is afraid that they might be sued civilly for damages, or in a case where they just do not remember absolutely anything about the facts of the case and really can't give a judge the necessary factual basis. A no contest plea is exactly like a plea of guilty except you are not “contesting” the case. Otherwise, you will suffer all the same consequences of a “regular” plea of guilty.Role of the Attorney
Your lawyer should provide you with all the information necessary for you to make an informed decision relative to the trial/no trial decision. You are the only one who can fully evaluate what is in your best interest and the decision of whether to plead guilty or stand trial is yours and yours alone. Again your lawyer's job is to help you understand the evidence against you, understand how your case will present to the judge and jury, and overall understand the likelihood of a successful outcome after trial and any and all risks associated with trial. Once you have all this information an understand it you should be in a position to make the best decision.Is a Plea Bargain the Right Move?
A plea bargain might be the best option for your case. It will allow you to avoid the risks associated with trial and may put you in a much better position than you would be in after a guilty verdict at trial. Your Michigan DUI attorney can help you decide if the plea offer is the best option for your situation or if you should go to trial to continue fighting your case.