A police officer pulled you over and arrested you for driving while intoxicated on the roads of Texas. After weeks of facing trial, you’re almost out of funds for legal procedures and in more danger of losing everything. Now you’re about to decide – should you plead guilty or not?
Admitting DWI is not a pretty sight, but it’s sometimes a more practical course to take if you’re guilty beyond reasonable doubt. But does it mean you have to suffer the punishments for the rest of your life? Not necessarily. Dntriallaw.com and other Houston criminal defense lawyers note that it’s still possible to reduce, if not eliminate DWI charges, even if you’re guilty. People call it the plea bargaining process.
What is it?
Plea bargaining is a compromise between the state prosecutor and the person who will most likely get a DWI conviction. You admit your guilt and the state reduces your sentence in return, preventing the need to go to trial. DWI involves a variety of punishments, all of which could mean your loss of employment or reputation.
Depending on the gravity of your case, you might end up reducing your fines or license suspension days. You’ll have higher chances of reducing your DWI from a felony to a misdemeanor if you’re a first time offender and a minor. Minors undergo alternatives like community service, alcohol teaching or prevention programs and treatment for alcohol abuse.
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Pros and Cons
There are many pros and cons when pleading guilty to a DWI charge. You get to lower your charges and prevent the costs and hassles of trial. It will still have a negative impact in your life, however.
On the other hand, not undergoing plea bargaining lets you go through the trial, which may go public and let you lose more face. The costs of the legal proceedings plus the sentences if you’re found guilty may give you more trouble. Those who are guilty of DWI may be punishable with fines, years in jail and annual fees to retain your driver’s license.
Keep in mind that this process doesn’t guarantee success. It’s still better to have a DWI attorney review your case and suggest the best solutions for your situation.