You don't have to go to trial if you have been charged with DUI (driving under the influence). Just like those charged with other criminal charges, you can negotiate with the prosecutor for a pre-trial determination of your case where you plead guilty to certain charges and accept lesser penalties. This is called plea bargaining, and here are a few criminal defense law tips to help you get it right:
Accepting the First Offer
Plea bargaining is basically a fancy term for negotiating with the prosecutor. Like other forms of negotiations, both parties set their sights high to begin with and then negotiate to a reasonable agreement at the end of the process. Therefore, you are making a big mistake by accepting the first offer made by the prosecutor, because that is probably not the best offer you can get. In fact, even the prosecutor expects you to negotiate a better deal, so the first offer they make is usually not the best one they can give you.
Talking About Your Defense Strategies
Another mistake you shouldn't make is that of explaining how you plan to defend your case during the trial. This may seem like a good idea because it shows the prosecutor how strong your case is, but it isn't a good idea at all. Don't forget that the persecutor isn't your legal counsel; in fact, they are the opposite of that. Therefore, the plea deal negotiations aren't privileged information–they aren't protected by any law. The prosecutor can easily use your defense strategy negotiations against you during trial should your plea deal fall through.
Admitting Your Guilt
You should also avoid admitting your guilt during the negotiations; be assured that the prosecutor may use all the tricks in their books to make you do this. Don't believe it even if the prosecutor tells you the admission is just between the two of you. The fact of the matter is that if your plea bargaining doesn't work then the prosecutor is within their right to use your admission of guilt as a way of getting a conviction in court.
Not Exploring the Various Deals Available
Lastly, you should know that there are various forms of plea deals. Many people are aware that a plea deal involves agreeing to a lesser charge so that you can enjoy a reduced sentence. This is true, but it isn't the only type of plea deal possible; there are other types. For example, you can admit to some charges and get others dropped. Therefore, it's a mistake not to explore all these options when negotiating with the prosecutor.