However, driving under the influence has become a hot issue in politics because of the work of MADD and other organizations that are bound and determined to get everyone off the road who even sniffed alcohol. As a result, it has become a focal point when electing judges and district attorneys. And these are the elected officials that stand in your way of making a plea bargain to reduce the charges or reduce the sentence in these cases. Having said this, it should also be pointed out that each state, and each county or bureau, or each court has its own set of rules that they use to appease the political machine that elected them. We cover a few basics here but must rely on your [legal Defense Network attorney to advise you of the or desirability or possibility of making an appropriate Plea Bargain, or Diversion.
A plea bargain usually centers around the defendant pleading guilty to a lesser offense, or to only one or some of the counts in a multi-count indictment. In return, the defendant seeks to obtain concessions as to the type and length of a sentence or amount of line that their case would normally bring. When a plea bargain is reached, it must be placed on the record in open court at the time a guilty plea is entered.
First-time offenders charged with driving while intoxicated frequently ask if there is any chance they can plead guilty to "a couple of traffic tickets" and thus avoid suspension or revocation of their driver's license. Unfortunately for these drivers, there are usually strict statutory limits on plea bargaining in these cases which make it highly unlikely that they will be able to plead to a non-alcohol-related offense. However, where your attorney can point to substantial issues of contention on the primary facts in the case and the district attorney then recognizes that the alcohol-related charge is not warranted, then dry reckless or other vehicle code violations might be substituted for the drinking charge.
In any case, if the prosecutor thinks that a Ikey piece of evidence like the breath test will not be admitted in court, he/she may want to cut a deal that will let you avoid a DUI. When this happens, you may be offered a plea to a lesser charge, including negligent driving first degree or even, in some cases, a traffic infraction like a speeding ticket.
Other motivations for plea bargaining in DUI/DWI cases are heavy trial schedules of prosecutors, the motivation to see you in alcohol or drug treatment, the unwillingness of, or unavailability of witnesses to testify. If the cop that arrested you was set to retire the next week and is moving to Alaska, you stand a substantial chance of getting a good (if not great) deal.
Some prosecutor's offices flat-out refuse to cut deals in some DUI cases because they are new lawyers and want the jury trial experience, they will gain by taking your DUI case to trial. While a jury trial is a defendant's right in any state, some prosecutors are now demanding a jury trial even if the defense wants a judge to decide the case.
If the prosecutor thinks that there is a good chance of winning a DUI conviction at trial, he/she is not likely to cut a deal. Therefore, sometimes it is advantageous to go through motion hearings (which determine whether key pieces of evidence will be allowed to be used against you at trial). If you win the motions, then good plea bargains often materialize, where before there were none.