You can get a DWI charge reduced to a less serious offense. In fact, this is one of the most common ways criminal defense attorneys help their clients avoid unnecessarily severe penalties. After all, even a first-time DWI conviction can carry significant penalties with life-changing consequences.
How Do I Reduce My DWI Charge?
If you wish to reduce your DWI charge, the first step is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. With competent legal representation at your side, you can improve your odds of securing a better outcome. Always bear in mind, however, that nothing in the criminal justice process is ever guaranteed.
That said, your attorney may be able to engage the prosecutor in helpful negotiations. Typically, prosecutors are willing to discuss altering charges when they feel their case against a defendant isn’t strong enough. Because they are motivated to achieve convictions for the district attorney’s office, they’re inclined to listen to an offer for a plea deal if they aren’t confident in their chances at trial.
Why Should I Ask for a Plea Bargain?
You should strongly consider a plea bargain for reduced charges if you are not confident in your chances of avoiding a DWI conviction at trial.
It’s understandable why some people hesitate at the thought of a plea bargain. With this arrangement, the prosecution offers to change the defendant’s charges to less serious offenses and/or seek reduced penalties. In exchange, the defendant forgoes their right to trial. That means accepting a plea bargain means incurring a criminal conviction.
Considering the alternative consequences of a conviction for the original charges, however, the consequences of a conviction for a lesser offense may be more agreeable. For example, a first-time DWI conviction can result in a fine of up to $2,000 and up to six months in jail. If the DWI charge is reduced to reckless driving, however, someone may only face up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $200.
When Will the Prosecution Consider a DWI Plea Bargain?
Prosecutors typically won’t let go of a case they know they can win, which means there are certain factors that can predict their likelihood to engage in a plea deal.
Some of these factors include the following:
- This is your first DWI arrest
- Your BAC was at or just below the 0.08% legal limit
- You refused to give a blood or breath sample, which means there’s no evidence
- The police failed to properly administer a chemical or breath test
- The police improperly stopped you
- The police failed to establish probable cause for your arrest
- Recordings of your arrest showed you were coherent, coordinated, and respectful
- The police may have engaged in unlawful misconduct
Reduced Charges Aren’t the Only Possible Outcome
Your attorney’s goal is to help you reach the best possible outcome by exploring all available options. Sometimes, that doesn’t mean looking for a plea deal when it’s possible to convince the prosecutor to drop the charges. If that doesn’t work, and the case against you looks especially weak, your attorney may be able to convince the judge to dismiss the charges.
We Can Help You Fight Your DWI Charges
Alband, Lane & Balderrama’s legal team is dedicated to our clients when they’re facing DWI charges. We understand that this can be a confusing and frightening time for you, but rest assured that we can help you confront your charges and pursue all options that can help you reach the best possible outcome.
For more information about how we can help, contact us online and request a consultation.