What happens if I get a Washington State DUI plea bargain. Offered by the prosecution, a plea bargain is an agreement by the prosecutor to amend the charge to a charge with lesser consequences, in exchange for a plea of guilty to the less serious charge. For example, an original charge of DUI can be amended to a reckless driving, reckless endangerment, or negligent driving.
Why would the prosecutor offer a plea bargain on a DUI case? There are many reasons. Although DUI is a serious offense, it is also a very common offense, and the trial of a DUI case requires a lot of work on the part of the prosecution. There are typically 3 or more witnesses the prosecution must line up to testify, and a DUI trial may last several days. If prosecutors were to take every DUI case to trial, the justice system would be gridlocked. Sometimes, the prosecutor is aware of problems with the evidence, or the witnesses that will make the case difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, and rather than take a chance and lose, is satisfied with obtaining a conviction to a less-serious offense.
Should I accept a plea bargain on my DUI case? At Callahan Law, we find that our clients are offered plea bargains more often than not. In fact, in the vast majority of our cases, our clients are offered a reduction to a less-serious offense. Although at first glance, a plea bargain may seem like a good deal, it may be a sign that the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove the case. On the other hand, the prosecutor may have enough evidence to prove the case, but he or she does not relish the prospect of the ordeal a grueling trial can be with an experienced, skilled DUI trial lawyer for an opponent. We discuss all options with our clients, weighing the pros and cons of going to trial or taking the reduction, explaining the consequences of the choices available. Then we let the client decide.
We know DUIs from both sides. A former deputy prosecuting attorney, Ms. Callahan knows how a prosecutor thinks, anticipates tactics that will be used by the prosecutor at trial, and knows which arguments will likely be persuasive in negotiating plea-bargains to less-serious offenses. Ms. Callahan has also taken some of the toughest DUI cases to trial and won. She is a graduate of the Trial Lawyer’s College and learned from the master trial lawyer, Gerry Spence. Ms. Callahan authored the Washington DUI Practice Manual, a legal resource which is published annually, and relied upon by lawyers, judges and even prosecutors across the State.
If you are looking for a lawyer to defend your DUI case, talk to us before you decide. We will always be here for you 24 hours a day.