Reducing Charges, Avoiding Penalties, & Understanding The Plea Deal Process
In this article, you can discover:
- Ways a DUI plea deal can reduce or avoid associated penalties.
- The expected timeline and process for negotiating a DUI plea deal.
- The importance of lawyer-client communication in DUI case management.
Is It Possible To Plead Guilty To A Lesser Offense Than DUI In A Plea Deal In Marin County?
It’s possible to plead guilty to a lesser offense than DUI in a plea deal. However, it’s important to secure a competent DUI defense lawyer who’s respected in the Marin County community and the district attorney’s office to do so.
DUI cases can be challenging to dismiss, and in situations where a dismissal isn’t possible, a plea deal is usually your best option. In DUI cases where a plea deal is offered, it’s most common for the plea to result in a low-level DUI (occasionally with enhancements) or a “wet reckless”.
While wet reckless charges still count toward your record as a DUI for future offenses, these pleas often come with better probation terms and lower fines.
Additionally, it’s important to note that receiving a plea deal of “dry reckless“ is incredibly rare, as the DA’s office is generally reluctant to offer them, preferring to go to trial instead.
Can A DUI Plea Deal In Marin County Help To Reduce Or Avoid The Penalties Associated With A DUI Conviction Such As Fines, Jail Time, And License Suspension?
Accepting a plea deal to a reduced charge can alleviate a number of issues in Marin County DUI cases…
By pleading down to a lower offense, many clients can avoid some of the most common employment-related issues that arise in connection with a DUI conviction.
Plea deals often allow us to save $1,000 or more in fines – or even get a fine completely eliminated depending on the circumstances.
- Jail Time
Jail time is usually not a concern for first-offense DUIs, but if you have to complete a Sheriff’s Work Program, that’s something we can negotiate. This might involve tasks like trash pickup or working in a thrift store.
- And More…
Negotiating plea deals and getting charges reduced can have significant benefits for immigration purposes, credit reports, and more.
It’s important to keep in mind, although a wet reckless charge is considered a DUI for future offenses within 10 years, it often carries more benefits than a standard DUI conviction.
How Long Does It Typically Take For A DUI Plea Deal To Be Negotiated In Marin County?
The length of the negotiation process can vary greatly, so it’s crucial to secure a DUI lawyer in Marin County as quickly as possible after the arrest, as you have only 10 days to request a DMV hearing and preserve your ability to drive throughout the process. After this, the arraignment, or the first court appearance, can be handled by your lawyer, allowing you to live your life without the stress of appearing in court.
The duration of the case depends on its severity and the required investigation. Cases with multiple offenses, accidents, witnesses, or needing extensive investigation can take several months, even up to two years. In addition to this, casework slowed down significantly during the pandemic, stretching out these timelines even further.
This is in part because the process of getting records from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) – such as video from body cameras and dash cameras, as well as maintenance logs and accuracy records from breathalyzer machines – has faced a major slowdown.
In the quickest scenarios, cases may conclude in two or three months, but they typically take three to six or seven months. However, it’s crucial to note that the duration of the case can depend on what will yield the best result for the client. Sometimes, it can be beneficial to let a case age. Because of this, effective, regular communication with your lawyer throughout this process is key. Your lawyer should be responsive and attentive to your needs, typically responding within the same day or the next.
What’s more, the lawyer handling your case should be the one you’re communicating with directly. To that end, it’s essential to ask who will be managing your case when finding the best lawyer for you in the San Francisco Bay Area or Marin County. If you’re not comfortable with the arrangement, it might be best to consider a different lawyer.