Michalk, Beatty & Alcozer, L.P.


Can I plea bargain for drunk driving charges?

Some people in Texas do not think twice before getting behind the wheel after having a drink or two, not realizing that they might have had enough alcohol to render them legally intoxicated. Depending on how long it has been since a person consumed alcohol, how much someone ate while drinking, their size and their tendency to digest alcohol, everyone's system is different and can be affected by alcohol differently. This means it may take more for a tall heavy man to cross the legal limits of intoxication than it would a short thin woman.

This means a miscalculation could blemish someone's record and affect their employment and education opportunities. This is perhaps why many Texas residents facing DUI/DWI charges are willing to negotiate to reduce their charges.

A plea bargain takes place when the accused agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge than the one for which one would stand trial. In addition to having lesser charges on their record, they could also end up agreeing to an alcohol treatment program or community service, allowing them to work on a possible problem rather than simply limit their ability to get about from point A to point B and restrict their ability to function day-to-day.

This does not mean that DUI charges should be taken lightly -- in fact it is the exact opposite. Since the penalties are so severe, it may be possible for some to engage in negotiation to get a lesser sentence for a lesser chance and reduce the uncertainty of a trial. However, if the terms of the plea bargain are broken then the deal is off the table and the original situation would revert. Therefore, it might be beneficial to consult with an attorney to ensure that the plea bargain is a practical one and if it is even possible given each person's individual circumstances.

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