Two Tips For Handling Plea Deals

Although states are tough on drunk drivers, a good quantity of DUI cases are resolved before they get to court. Prosecutors often offer defendants plea deals in an effort to clear as many cases as possible in the least amount of time. Before you accept a plea deal, though, here are two tips to ensure you get the most out of it.

Know What You'll Settle For

If you're like most people who are charged with a DUI, your ultimate goal is to get the charges dropped altogether and walk free. Unfortunately, that option may not be available depending on the type of evidence the prosecution has and how motivated they are to convict you.

Thus, you need to determine what you're willing to settle for. The prosecutor will typically offer to either reduce the charges to something lesser or to offer a more lenient sentence. Which type is better for you will depend on your particular situation.

For instance, if you want to avoid being convicted of a DUI, you may want to take a plea deal where the charge is reduced to reckless driving. This lets you avoid problems such as compounded penalties if you already have previous DUIs on your record. On the other hand, if you're pretty certain the prosecutor could convict you for a DUI, then a reduced sentencing plea may be the best option.

Work with your DUI lawyer to figure out a realistic optimal outcome you'd like to shoot for and only accept a plea deal that gets you as close to your goal as possible.

Be Calm and Cool

Although the prosecutor is your adversary in the courtroom, they're people too. And just like any other human, they're not likely to respond in a positive way to defendants who come at them in an aggressive and/or argumentative way. In fact, as petty as it may sound, it's not unusual for a prosecutor to withhold a plea deal and force a defendant to go to trial as punishment for being rude and obnoxious.

You want the prosecutor to be on your side. Thus, you need to maintain your composure, even when things get stressful. Be polite when communicating with the attorney and have an air of being willing to compromise. The prosecutor is more likely to negotiate with you when you're respectful and amenable than when you're combative.

For more information about plea deals or help with your DUI case, contact a criminal defense attorney.