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Napa DUI defense lawyerYour goal after being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is to prevent a conviction, but there are DUI cases where the evidence against you makes a conviction seem unavoidable. Sometimes, you must decide whether you will continue to fight the charge or take a plea deal if one is offered. Plea bargaining can reduce the punishment of a DUI conviction or reduce the charge, and a skilled DUI defense attorney can help

Common Plea Bargain Scenarios

Most defendants prefer to not have a DUI conviction on their record, even if it means accepting a lesser charge. There are three common plea deals that prosecutors may offer in a DUI case:

  1. Wet Reckless: A “wet reckless” plea deal means you are accepting a reckless driving conviction while admitting that alcohol or drugs were involved in the incident. The conviction on your record will indicate that you may have had alcohol or drugs in your system but does not say that those substances legally impaired you. The biggest advantage of a “wet reckless” plea is that the court might not suspend your driver’s license. However, the conviction will be treated as if it was a prior DUI offense if you are ever convicted of DUI.
  2. Dry Reckless: A “dry reckless” plea deal is a standard reckless driving conviction without mentioning alcohol or drugs as part of the incident. A reckless driving conviction is still a misdemeanor offense, but there are lower penalties and less stigma with having the conviction on your record. Unlike a wet reckless conviction, a dry reckless conviction would not count as a prior DUI offense if you are convicted of DUI.
  3. Exhibition of Speed: If you were pulled over for speeding before your DUI arrest, you may be able to negotiate an “exhibition of speed” plea deal. While also a misdemeanor offense, a speeding conviction is highly preferable to a DUI conviction.

Should You Accept a Plea Deal?

Taking a plea deal helps you avoid the risk of receiving the harshest DUI penalties if you allow your case to go to trial. However, you should be careful before accepting a plea deal. The first plea deal you receive may not be the best deal that the prosecution will offer. Also, getting your charge dismissed or a not-guilty verdict is still the best possible outcome. If the prosecution comes to you with a plea deal, it may be because they are not confident that they can win a DUI case at trial.

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Sonoma DUI defense attorneyBeing pulled over by a police officer can leave you at a loss for words. Before the officer reaches your vehicle, your mind is probably trying to figure out what you might have done to catch the officer’s attention. Driving under the influence (DUI) may come to mind if it is at night or you had a drink before getting behind the wheel. You have only seconds before you must talk to the officer, so what should you say?

The right answer during any traffic stop is the bare minimum. This may be difficult if you are the type of person who rambles or over-explains when you are nervous. If you are eventually charged with DUI, what you say to the officer can be used as evidence as the case proceeds.. The more you talk, the more likely it is that you will say something that draws suspicion or incriminates yourself. There are several questions that you can expect an officer to ask:

“Do You Know Why I Pulled You Over?”

Your answer to this classic question should always be “no.” Let the officer present their suspicions on their own. Trying to guess what they are thinking will suggest that you know you did something wrong.

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