Plea Bargains in a DWUI Case
October 2nd, 2023
The vast majority of criminal charges, including drunk driving, or Driving While Under the Influence (DWUI), are resolved through plea bargains. If you were offered a plea bargain, you might have questions about what this means for your DWUI case and whether you should accept the plea deal.
What Is a Plea Bargain?
In the most general sense, a plea bargain is an agreement between the defendant and the prosecution. In most cases, the defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest in exchange for a less severe charge or more lenient penalties than a judge might otherwise impose for the charged offense.
When the plea is to a reduced charge, the defendant pleads guilty to a less severe charge, which typically results in a less severe penalty than the original charge.
When the plea involves a reduced sentence, the defendant typically receives an agreed-upon penalty and avoids the uncertainty of waiting to see what sentence a judge will impose if the defendant is found guilty at trial.
Plea Bargains in a Wyoming DWUI Case
While every case is different, specific plea bargains are common in DWUI prosecutions.
A Wyoming prosecutor may accept a plea to the lesser charge of reckless driving in a DWUI case. Reckless driving carries a less severe sentence than a DWUI conviction and might avoid some of the collateral consequences of a DWUI.
If you are eligible for deferred prosecution, the prosecutor accepts a plea of guilty or no contest and then defers prosecution while you complete probation. When you successfully complete the program, the court will dismiss the case.
You are more likely to be eligible to participate in a deferred prosecution if:
- You are a first-time offender;
- You have a high likelihood of completing the program;
- You have steady employment;
- No one was injured or killed as a result of the DWUI;
- You are not a danger to the community.
Not every county offers deferred prosecution for a DWUI charge. Even if the county in which you were charged does offer a deferred prosecution, you will not qualify if you have a prior felony conviction or have previously received a deferral for a DWUI or any other criminal charge.
Should I Accept a Plea Bargain in a DWUI Case?
Accepting a plea bargain can help you avoid some of the most severe penalties of a DWUI charge. A plea bargain can also save you the time and inconvenience of going to trial. But not every plea deal is a good one.
Before you decide to accept a plea bargain, you should discuss the following questions with your criminal defense team:
- How likely is it that you will win at trial?
- What penalties will you face if you lose?
- How long is the trial likely to last?
Deciding whether to accept a plea bargain will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. Before you accept a plea bargain, you and your lawyer should carefully analyze the facts of your case to decide whether you are better off accepting the plea deal or taking your case to trial.
Is a Plea Bargain Always the Best Decision?
Every case is unique, and what might be a good deal in one situation might not be a good deal in another. A plea bargain is a compromise, and resolving your case through a plea deal is often a question of efficiency and avoiding uncertainty. In many cases, both sides can reach a resolution everyone can live with.
Without plea bargaining, courts and prosecutors would not have sufficient resources to process every criminal case on their calendar.
For defendants, a plea bargain can minimize the consequences of a DWUI charge by reducing the possible penalties and the amount of time you would need to spend in court for hearings and at trial. In addition, by accepting a plea bargain, you have a good idea of the sentence the judge will impose.
Contact Just Criminal Law for Aggressive Defense Against a DWUI Charge
If you are facing DWUI charges, the criminal defense team at Just Criminal Law can carefully analyze your situation, work to negotiate the best plea deal possible under the circumstances, and help you decide whether to accept the plea deal. By taking an aggressive approach to DWUI defense, we aim to increase your options and create the best plea deal possible. But if trial is the better choice, our team has the experience and resources necessary to defend you aggressively.
When you have been charged with Wyoming DWUI charges and are concerned about how the criminal charges will impact your future, contact the team at Just Criminal Law today. During your personalized case review and strategy session, we will analyze the evidence against you and work to create an aggressive defense plan designed to improve your options and result in the most favorable plea deal.
Whether you decide to accept the plea bargain or take your case to trial, our team will be with you every step of the way, offering advice and legal counsel to help you make the best decision and minimize the consequences of a Wyoming DWUI charge.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.
Categories: DUI / DWUI / Drunk Driving