If you have ever been arrested for DUI, you were most likely approached by the prosecuting attorney in court, offering you a “deal” or a “plea bargain.” This typically means that you plead guilty to an offense lesser than the offense that you were originally charged with, and often, there are concessions to tend with. Before you take a DUI plea deal that you are not satisfied with, you should be aware of a few things, and you may want to consult with an Atlanta DUI attorney to ensure your rights are protected.
Never Reveal Your Strategy
Never explain your defense strategy to the prosecuting attorney. Their job is to nail a guilty plea, therefore if you let them know how you are going to attempt to fight the charge, and you cannot come up with an agreeable plea deal, the prosecutor will have time to derail your defense strategy. The prosecuting attorney can also add more charges to your DUI.
Never Admit Guilt
This is advice that most DUI attorneys would love to be able to tell their clients before they got arrested. Unfortunately, by the time someone retains a lawyer, they have usually already been arrested and charged. Either way, it is never advisable to admit guilt to a police officer, prosecuting attorney, or anyone else involved. If you do admit that you are in some way guilty, your words can be used against you in court. Again, if you are unable to strike a deal with the prosecutor, any admissions that you make can be used against you in court.
Wait to Make a Deal
Prosecuting attorneys line people up and run through the files quite steadfastly on court mornings. Before agreeing to any deals, look around to see if you recognize the officer who arrested you. If the officer does not appear in court, there is a chance that the judge will dismiss your case. If the prosecuting attorney offers you a deal, and you have not seen the arresting officer yet, politely ask the prosecutor if you can take a few moments to think about the plea deal. If the officer does not show up, simply say no to the deal.
Do Not be Bullied
DUI plea deals require some sort of compromise on your part, but you do not have to put up with bullying from the prosecutor. If the prosecutor does attempt to threaten you with a “take it or you will get the maximum punishment,” do not fall for the bluff. Of course, a prosecuting attorney does have the power to pursue the charge to the maximum consequence, but it is usually the judge that hands down the sentences.
Contact a Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorney
Remember that the prosecuting attorney is not your friend. If you want someone on your team at court with you, reach out to the lawyers at Yeargan & Kert. Call us today at (404) 467-1747 to schedule your free consultation as soon as possible so we can get started on your DUI case. If we can get any evidence thrown out, you might not even have to consider a plea deal.