The thought of accepting a plea deal may cross your mind when facing a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge. You could be looking to conclude your case hastily or avoid the uncertainty of a trial.
However, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential pitfalls and drawbacks of accepting a plea deal. Understanding the consequences can help you make the right decisions to protect your interests. Here is what you should know before hastily agreeing to a plea bargain.
It means admitting to a crime
In most cases, you must admit guilt with a plea deal in exchange for a reduced charge or a count bargain. Either way, it means accepting that you broke the law and are ready to face the consequences.
Beyond the legal penalties of a conviction, a guilty plea leaves you with a criminal record, which can affect future employment prospects and professional licenses and even lead to increased insurance rates for a long time into your future.
You must give up some rights
You have a right to a fair trial, to question witnesses and the right against self-incrimination. However, you usually have to waive all these rights by accepting a plea deal. There will be no trial or witnesses, and you have to incriminate yourself by admitting to certain facts.
You may stand a better chance at trial
Often, the prosecution’s DWI case against you may be weak and insufficient enough to secure a conviction. However, when you accept a plea deal, you may never find that out.
Accepting a plea deal should not be a spontaneous decision in reaction to the stress and uncertainty of facing a DWI charge. It should be a carefully considered option, given the potential implications. Seeking legal guidance can help you make sense of everything and ensure you take informed action.