Can I Get a Plea Bargain in My NYC DUI Case?

If you operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, you will be charged with driving while under the influence (DUI). This offense carries harsh penalties, including fines, license revocation, and potential jail time. As such, it’s natural for people to wonder what options to resolve the charges without the risk and uncertainty of a trial. Please continue reading to learn when a plea bargain may be reached in a New York City DUI case and why connecting with a proficient Rockland County DUI Attorney is in your best interest. 

What is a Plea Bargain?

A plea bargain or plea deal is an agreement between a person charged with committing a crime (defendant) and the prosecution. Many cases, including DUI cases in the U.S., are resolved through plea bargains. With a plea bargain, a defendant agrees to admit they are guilty of a criminal offense rather than making the prosecutor prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt during a trial. The prosecutor will instead make some concession to the defendant in exchange for admitting guilt, such as charging them with a less serious offense or recommending less severe penalties.

When a defendant accepts a plea agreement, the prosecutor will make recommendations to the judge by the terms of the deal. However, it’s important to note that the judge has discretion, meaning they don’t have to abide by the agreement that a prosecutor makes on behalf of the state. Nevertheless, they will generally question the defendant to ensure they understand the terms they agree to. If satisfied, the judge will sentence the defendant by the plea agreement.

Is it Possible to Get a NYC DUI Reduced to a Lesser Offense?

If you have been charged with DUI, whether the prosecution is willing to negotiate a plea deal depends on numerous variables. Understanding that the prosecution is not obligated to extend a plea offer is crucial. However, many prosecutors are willing to use a plea bargain to resolve a case because they lack the resources to take every case to trial. Therefore, if you have no prior DUI convictions, a relatively low BAC reading, and no accidents were involved, the prosecution may negotiate a plea deal.

In some cases, a DWI charge can be reduced to a lesser charge of driving while ability impaired (DWAI). A DWAI is not considered a crime but rather a traffic infraction. It carries similar penalties to a DUI conviction, but it will not result in a criminal record. Therefore, a defendant may be subject to a reduced driver’s license suspension period, limited probation, and no jail time.

Before entering a plea agreement, it’s advisable to consult an experienced Rockland County DUI attorney, who can help you determine the best course of action given the unique circumstances of your case. Please don’t hesitate to contact The Law Office of Carl Spector to learn how we can assist you during these challenging times.