If you have been charged with driving under influence (DUI), you have the option of pleading guilty or accepting a plea bargain. If you plead guilty, the original sentence of the offense may be reduced in return for your plea. In a plea bargain, your attorney may be able to negotiate a reduced charge. However, if you plead not guilty, your case is very likely going to proceed to a trial.
These negotiations usually take place at the pre-trial conference. A pre-trial conference is a meeting that takes place in the presence of a judge. You are required to attend the conference and so is the prosecution. Both sides present the evidence and any other information involving the case. Based on the available evidence, the prosecutor may offer you a plea arrangement. The prosecutor will also make recommendations to the judge about the sentencing.
Plea Deals Offered at Pre-Trial
During the pre-trial conference, you will typically be presented with DUI plea bargains. This is because in many cases, the prosecutor will want to save the time and resources of the state by avoiding trial.
If there is an overwhelming amount of incriminating evidence against you, the prosecutor will suggest that you plead guilty. The prosecutor will argue that you are only going to waste your time and money by going to trial. Pleading guilty will also help you get a reduced sentence for your offense. A qualified Boise DUI attorney on your side will help you make the right decision at this point.
If the evidence against you isn’t good enough, your attorney may negotiate a plea bargain. This is where you plead guilty for a reduced charge. It is typical for a DUI charge to be reduced to ‘wet reckless’ or ‘exhibition of speed’ in a plea bargain. The bargain is a win-win situation. The prosecution is able to conclude the case swiftly, and you are able to get off with reduced penalties. However, a prosecutor or defendant attorney’s plea proposals must be approved by the judge as well.
The Role of the Judge
The judge typically serves as a mediator at the pre-trial conference. He or she listens to the evidence available on both sides and the facts of the case. Some judges may encourage both sides to reach a plea arrangement. Others may turn down plea proposals from the prosecutor or the defendant and want to take the case to a trial. The proceedings of a pre-trial meeting can vary greatly, depending upon the tendencies of the judge. So you must have an attorney by your side to advise you through the conference.
To Plea or Not To Plea
At a pre-trial conference, you must make the decision as to whether or not you wish to enter a plea. You can enter a plea of guilty or negotiate some sort of plea bargain. If you enter a plea of not guilty, the case proceeds to trial.
When the evidence against you is weak or the prosecution is unable to establish clear proof, you may be able to negotiate a useful plea bargain. It is not uncommon for defendants to reach a reduced charge such as ‘wet reckless’ or even have the original charge changed to a non-alcohol offense like ‘exhibition of speed.’ However, this may require some serious negotiating skills for which you will need a good attorney.
The Role of Your Attorney
A qualified attorney will understand where you and the prosecution stand with regards to your DUI conviction. If the prosecution has a strong case, the attorney will gear up to fight the charge or seek reduced sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. If the prosecution’s case has any loopholes, your attorney will identify them and use them for seeking a plea bargain.
It is also important to note that a good attorney will likely know the judge who acts as the mediator in a pre-trial conference. When that is the case, your attorney is able to handle the judge better and cater to his or her tendencies. This can be the key to striking a beneficial deal for you at the meeting.
Hiring Qualified Boise DUI Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI in Boise, you must hire an experienced attorney right away. Here at Boise DUI Guy, our Boise DUI attorneys specialize in defending DUI charges. Over the years, we have worked with a number of Boise drivers to have their DUI charges reduced or dropped altogether. Contact us today to book a FREE consultation with our attorneys and discuss your case in detail.