As in most states, a DUI or related charge is an extremely serious criminal charge in Colorado. That means that being convicted of a DUI can have serious consequences that reach beyond the temporary inconvenience of having your license revoked and being required to pay court costs and other fines. While it is not always possible, the first step a DUI lawyer usually takes in handling your case is to look for opportunities where he or she can work with courts to help you avoid conviction. Often, this process involves what most people refer to as plea bargaining.
Approaches to Plea Bargaining
All criminal defendants have the right to take their case in front of a jury. While this might be a wise approach in some situations, avoiding trial can often save you time and money. Typically, this is where plea bargaining can come into play. As with approaching any criminal case, there is no one way to approach plea bargaining. There are a number of factors that your attorney will consider in order to determine how best to approach the plea bargain process.
Usually, your attorney will evaluate the prosecutor’s case and look for weaknesses that could make securing a conviction more difficult. Generally, the plea bargain process is most useful when such weaknesses can be found. These weaknesses can be found in a number of places, including in the reliability of evidence the prosecutor wants to use in the case or even in whether or not your rights were violated during the process that led to your DUI or related charges. Your reputation and standing in the community will usually have little impact on whether or not a plea bargain is available, so it is crucial for your attorney to pay close attention to detail in evaluating the case against you. Thus, the more your attorney knows about the intricacies of DUI defense, the more likely he or she will be to find weaknesses in the case being built against you in order to help you avoid conviction or plea bargain your charges to less severe ones.
Typically, taking proactive steps like attending alcohol education and/or treatment programs while your attorney is developing your defense will help you on the road to securing a successful plea bargain. The more you can show remorse for your actions as well as that you are willing to take productive steps to avoid future DUI or related charges, the more likely your attorney will be able to use weaknesses in the case against you to navigate the plea bargain process. Ultimately, a decision on whether or not to accept terms offered by the prosecutor will rest in your hands, but it is important to work closely with your attorney to gain a solid and realistic understanding of the strength of your case as you move forward.
Legal Assistance with Colorado DUIs
Each DUI case is unique and there is no formula for creating a DUI defense that will work for everyone. Working with an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney is an important first step in making sure you explore all options that might be available to you during the legal process associated with these types of charges. Sometimes, plea bargaining will not be an option and other times there could be other more effective options available for your defense. Attorney Jay Tiftickjian has written extensively on the legal process associated with a Colorado DUI and can use that experience to work with you. If you are facing DUI or related charges, contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you can find out more information about the charges you are facing as well as which options might be available to you in your defense.
(image courtesy of Robert Mathews)