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Should I take the plea deal?

If you have been charged with driving under the influence, chances are that at your first appearance, the prosecutor will ask if you are going to plead guilty or not guilty. Part of this discussion will involve an offer for a plea agreement, which is what the prosecution is willing to do to settle the matter before trial. In fact, plea agreements are fairly common in criminal matters. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of criminal matters are resolved before trial.

Even with this commonality, the decision to accept a plea deal is very important because it could have long lasting implications. As such, it is important to take this decision seriously and ask several questions before making a decision. This post will cover a few. 

Will a conviction remain be on my record? – This is important because the conviction may be a permanent part of your record unless there are specific details about your record being cleared after completing probation.

Is it possible to win at trial? – Knowing the likelihood of success at trial is an important consideration. Because if you lose, you may end up with a stiffer sentence; which may include jail time.

What are the recommended sentences for my crime? – It is likely that a pre-sentence (or even pre-plea) investigation will be conducted so that both sides can see what recommendations for sentencing will be.

Will it be possible to clear my record? – As we alluded to earlier, it may be possible to have your record cleared if you complete certain aspects of probation. This is also important if you end up pleading guilty to an enhancible offense (i.e. an offense that carries a harsher punishment if you are convicted again).


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