Pleading guilty to any criminal charges may seem like the wrong approach to a successful defense, but in some cases, a plea bargain may be the ideal choice. Defendants facing charges of DUI in Oklahoma can often benefit from a plea bargain in some cases, although it is crucial to seek advice from a defense attorney before making the bargain.
A plea bargain is an agreement made between the prosecution or the government and the defendant. In most cases, the defendant will agree to plead guilty to a less serious charge in exchange for a lighter sentence. While it feels like an admission of guilt and like a defendant has given up his or her rights, it is actually an effective tool to keep a defendant's reputation and certain rights as a citizen intact.
Here are a few advantages to choosing a plea bargain for Oklahoma DUI charges.
-- Less harsh penalties including fines and jail time-- Less serious or fewer offenses on the defendant's criminal record-- Savings on the costs for which defendants are responsible in a jury trial-- Options other than jail in some cases (e.g. community service or alcohol rehabilitation)
The criminal court system encourages plea deals when possible due to the growing volume of criminal cases and overcrowding in jails. Some of the factors used to decide if plea bargains are viable include the seriousness of the charges and whether or not a guilty verdict is deemed likely.
Bottom Line: Your life and your reputation are at stake. While a plea bargain may not be the right choice for your situation, it requires a lot of consideration to make a final decision. Working with an Oklahoma-based criminal defense attorney can help you understand when and if a plea bargain will best meet your needs.
Source: FindLaw, "DUI Plea Bargains," accessed June 25, 2015