If one has been charged with a DUI, an Illinois criminal defense attorney can evaluate the case and help determine what the next steps should be. Many DUI cases end before trial, when the defendant agrees to enter into a plea bargain. In some cases, the prosecuting attorney on the case may offer to reduce the severity of the charge or lighten the sentence one face, if one accepts a plea deal and agree to plead guilty. In other cases, one may agree to plead guilty to the charges in exchange for a lighter sentence, if the evidence is significant.
Plea bargains come with positives and negatives, and a DUI defense may or may not be as effective as these bargains. Accepting a plea deal can be very beneficial to many defendant, as it means that they will have less serious offenses on their record and often, less serious penalties.
Defendants who agree to a plea deal can avoid a lengthy, costly trial and instead, face the consequences and start moving forward with their lives. However, by accepting a plea deal, one is agreeing to plead guilty to something, even if it is a lesser charge than originally facing. This means that one will have an offense on their criminal record, which could affect their ability to find employment.
If one decides not to accept a plea deal, they are essentially agreeing to take one’s chances with a jury. While it is possible that the charges will be dropped when the jury finds one, “not guilty,” it is also possible that one will be found guilty and as a result, face more serious penalties than one would have if one had accepted the plea deal. This is why developing a DUI defense strategy that may include seeking a plea bargain early is so important.