Should I Take a Plea Bargain in my DUI Case?

The experienced Denver DUI attorneys at the Tiftickjian Law Firm handle many different DUI cases on a regular basis. Each case has its own unique circumstances and defenses, so there is no one approach or simple piece of advice we can give you on how to proceed until we evaluate your individual case. We will analyze every fact and circumstance involved in your traffic stop, arrest, and we will collect evidence to determine what the best and most aggressive defense strategy will be in your case. For this reason the answer to whether you should take a plea bargain will strictly depend on the facts of your particular situation.

Why Some People Decide to Plead Guilty

The majority of DUI and criminal defendants choose to accept a plea deal from the prosecutor and plead guilty. However, you should never plead guilty until you know you have the best plea bargain offer possible from the prosecutor. Our experienced attorneys know how to use evidence and legal arguments to negotiate with the prosecutors so that you can have your charges amended, penalties limited, or even your case dismissed.

Plea bargaining often makes sense because of the inherent risks of going to trial. If you go to trial and the jury decides you are guilty, all of the deals that were reached during the plea bargaining phase will be off the table and you will likely face harsher penalties for your conviction. One of the most important benefits of a plea agreement is the certainty of your sentence—you will generally be aware of the exact penalties you will face following your guilty plea. This is not the case with a sentence following a trial.

Additionally, plea bargains often result in amended charges, which in turn commonly result in less severe sentences. A DUI attorney can often get your charge amended down to a “wet reckless,” or reckless driving under Colorado traffic laws, which will keep a DUI conviction off your record. A wet reckless will still count against you as a prior offense if you subsequently receive another DUI, however other direct and collateral consequences will likely be reduced.

Reduced charges and penalties, as well as the awareness of what your penalties will be without the uncertainty of trial, are two of the main benefits of plea bargains in DUI cases.

When to Reject a Plea Bargain

Again, whether you should accept or reject a plea bargain depends on the facts of your case. If you believe you were wrongfully arrested and charged or if law enforcement officers violated your constitutional rights during the course of the arrest, going to trial to fight your charges may be the right course of action. A DUI defense attorney will be able to advise you on the strength of the evidence in your case to help you decide whether or not to go to trial or accept a plea bargain.

Plea bargains are often not available for defendants who try to handle their own DUI cases. For this reason and more, you should always call the Tiftickjian Law Firm as soon as possible if you have been arrested for DUI.