After being charged with the crime of impaired driving in Virginia, you need to make the choice about how to handle your case. You have two primary options available to you: you may plead guilty to a crime or you may plead not guilty and take your chances at trial.
The best approach to take in your case will depend upon the facts and circumstances of your arrest and the evidence against you. The stakes are high and knowing how to proceed when faced with drunk driving charges also requires you to have an understanding of how the rules of law and evidence work. An experienced Virginia drunk driving lawyer at The Wilson Law Firm can provide the assistance that you need to make strategic choices on how you should plead.
Virginia Drunk Diving Plea Bargaining
For some clients, plea bargaining is the appropriate answer when charged with impaired driving. Plea bargaining means that you admit guilt and that you accept the consequences associated with conviction.
Prosecutors benefit from plea bargaining because conviction is guaranteed and because time, money and resources do not need to be used to take you to trial. Those who have been charged with the crime of impaired driving may also benefit from a plea deal under certain circumstances. Some potential advantages to plea bargaining include:
- The possibility of a lesser charge or a lighter sentence. As an enticement to get you to admit guilt, prosecutors may be wiling to reduce the charges or recommend a minimum penalty. It may be possible to avoid jail time or to spend less time incarcerated provided your attorney is able to negotiate a favorable plea deal on your behalf.
- The possibility of avoiding a criminal conviction or a drunk driving conviction. You may be able to plead to an infraction, or the prosecutor may allow you to plead to a different driving offense rather than impaired driving. Not only can this allow you to avoid a criminal record, but you could also avoid more serious penalties if you are subsequently accused of a crime in the future. This is because drunk driving penalties are worse for prior offenders.
Avoiding the stress and expense of trial. Going to court can be an emotionally and financially draining experience that many people hope to avoid.
The downside to a plea bargain, of course, is that you must admit you have done something wrong and you will thus have some type of record of an offense or infraction. You need to think carefully about what the consequences are of admitting guilt, and what the likelihood of a successful court case is.
Getting Legal Help with Virginia Drunk Driving Pleas
An experienced attorney at the Wilson Law Firm can conduct a detailed evaluation and investigation into your drunk driving charges and advise you on all of your legal options, including taking a chance with a jury. If pleading guilty is the right choice for you, our experienced and caring legal professionals will do everything possible to help you make a fair deal with the prosecutor to minimize your penalties. Call today to learn more.