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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Matthews

DUI Plea Bargains: Pros, Cons, and Alternatives, Orlando DUI Attorney

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

Facing a DUI charge can be a daunting experience, with potential legal consequences that may affect your future. In the legal system, plea bargaining is a common approach used to resolve cases efficiently and avoid lengthy trials. DUI cases are no exception, often resulting in plea bargains. Most attorneys will try to convince you to take the plea, at Matthews Criminal Defense, with extensive experience as a DUI criminal defense attorney, I always fight for the best outcome and don't encourage my clients to take anything less. In this blog post, we'll delve into the world of DUI plea bargains, exploring their pros, cons, and alternative strategies. It's important to hire an Orlando DUI Attorney as soon as possible.


Understanding Plea Bargains in DUI Cases


A plea bargain is a negotiated agreement between the prosecution and the defense, where the defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest to certain charges in exchange for a reduction in charges, a lighter sentence, or some other concession. In the context of DUI cases, plea bargains involve negotiating a deal that might involve pleading guilty to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving, in exchange for a reduction in penalties.


The Pros of DUI Plea Bargains

  1. Reduced Charges and Penalties: One of the most significant advantages of a plea bargain is the potential for reduced charges and penalties. This could mean avoiding a DUI conviction on your record, which can have long-term implications for your employment, insurance rates, and more.

  2. Faster Resolution: Trials can be time-consuming and emotionally draining. Opting for a plea bargain can lead to a quicker resolution of your case, sparing you from prolonged legal proceedings.

  3. Predictability: With a plea bargain, you have a clearer understanding of the potential outcome. This predictability can help you make informed decisions about your future.

  4. Avoiding the Uncertainty of Trial: Trials are inherently unpredictable. By accepting a plea bargain, you can avoid the uncertainty of a trial verdict and gain some control over the outcome.

The Cons of DUI Plea Bargains

  1. Admitting Guilt: Accepting a plea bargain usually involves admitting guilt to a lesser offense. This admission can have personal and social consequences, including feelings of shame and regret.

  2. Limited Options for Challenge: By accepting a plea bargain, you waive your right to challenge the evidence against you in court. This can be a significant disadvantage if there are valid legal defenses in your case.

  3. Potential for Harsher Sentences: In some cases, the prosecution might be unwilling to negotiate a fair deal, leaving you with a choice between a harsh sentence or a risky trial.

Alternative Strategies to Consider

  1. Legal Defenses: Depending on the circumstances of your case, there may be valid legal defenses you can use to challenge the DUI charge. These could include improper traffic stops, faulty breathalyzer tests, or violations of your rights during the arrest process.

  2. Pretrial Diversion Programs: Some jurisdictions offer pretrial diversion programs for first-time offenders. These programs typically involve attending alcohol education classes, completing community service, and adhering to certain conditions. Successful completion can result in the dismissal of your charges.

  3. Trial: While trials can be uncertain, they provide an opportunity to present your case before a judge or jury. If you believe in your innocence or have strong legal defenses, pursuing a trial might be the right choice.

In Conclusion


DUI plea bargains come with their share of advantages and disadvantages, and the decision to accept or reject a plea deal should not be taken lightly. Consulting with an experienced DUI attorney is crucial to understanding your options and making an informed choice. Additionally, exploring alternative strategies like legal defenses, pretrial diversion programs, or even pursuing a trial can help you find the best path forward in your DUI case. Remember, every case is unique, so it's essential to consider your individual circumstances before making a decision that will impact your future. Hire an Orlando DUI Attorney as soon as possible. If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI), contact my Orlando, Florida office today at (407) 561-8166.

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