DUI Plea Options

Wet Reckless Laws In PA & NJ

dui plea options

If you are charged with a DUI or DWI it is important to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to advise you of your rights and options. You will need a DUI defense attorney who knows the law and the legal process and can help you get through your case with the best possible outcome. There is no question that you should hire a skilled and experienced DUI Defense Lawyer serving Pennsylvania and New Jersey to represent you.

If you are charged with any type of impaired driving charge in Pennsylvania or New Jersey you should retain a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyer to help you. If you are a first-time DUI-offender, you may be eligible for admission into the various first offender programs in NJ & PA. These typically result in no jail time, a reduced license suspension and a final result that would not be considered a criminal conviction. If you are not eligible for the ARD Program, it is still important to do everything you can to get the best possible result. Sometimes, when a first offender program is not an option, it becomes even more important to look into any defense issues and probe whether the police made a mistake in building the case against you. Even if the case does not ultimately go to trial, if there is some sort of plausible defense issue — of weakness in the case — it may be more realistic to negotiate a plea bargain that you can live with. 

Negotiating A DUI Plea in NJ & PA

No one who is charged with a DUI initially wants to enter into a negotiated guilty plea agreement. Certainly, if there is a legitimate defense issue, it can be better to try to beat the case in front of a judge or jury so that there is no jail time or license suspension whatsoever. The difficulty, however, is that the system is set up so that if a person goes to trial and loses, he or she typically gets a much worse result then if he or she entered into a negotiated guilty plea agreement. This is how the criminal justice system encourages guilty pleas. The stark reality is that if the system did not encourage guilty plea, and everyone charged with a DUI elected to take the matter to trial, the system would completely bog down.

What does this all mean for you if you are charged with a DUI or DWI? It means that you should retain an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney to help you realistically evaluate your case and assess your options. Without question, there are times when it makes sense to take a case to trial. Our Pennsylvania DUI defense attorneys have recommended that course of action to many clients over the years and have had success pushing the District Attorney’s Office to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. There are times, however, where the right strategy is to acknowledge the risks of going to trial and pursuing a strategy of working out the best possible resolution. Both PA & NJ have ‘wet reckless’ aka reckless driving alcohol related laws. Depending on your BAC level, and other circumstances surrounding your arrest, pleading your DUI or DWI down to a ‘wet reckless’ charge may be an option. Please contact our DUI defense attorneys for a free, and thorough, case analysis. 

Alternative DUI Sentences

When a person enters into a guilty plea to a DUI charge, judges sometimes see this as an admirable acceptance of responsibility. Judges obviously see cases every day where people try to avoid the consequences of their actions and sometimes it makes strategic sense to accept responsibility so that the judge sees that the defendant is remorseful about what happened and is determined to make sure the mistake is never repeated. In situations where judges sense a person is truly remorseful, they are frequently more likely to impose alternative DUI sentences as opposed to straight jail/ imprisonment.

Throughout New Jersey & Pennsylvania judges can impose alternative DUI sentences such as house arrest and work release. Judges are typically more likely to impose such alternative sentences when defendants have “accepted responsibility” and taken accountability for their actions. Conversely, defendants who take their cases to trial and lose are less likely to get such alternative sentences and are more likely to receive a straight prison sentence.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving PA & NJ    

For anyone charged with a DUI in PA or NJ, the various options and decisions that have to be made can become truly overwhelming. It is imperative you retain a Norristown, PA DUI Defense Attorney who will take the time to explain your options and help you take things one step at a time. Dealing with a DUI charge is a long process and dealing with the process requires a step-by-step approach. The first step needs to be retaining a lawyer who has handled many cases such as this and who you trust and respect to make sure you get the best result.

Our Philadelphia DUI defense attorneys have handled hundreds of DUI cases over the years. They understand how prosecutors evaluate cases and know the types of situations where they are more likely to seek negotiated guilty plea agreements. Our NJ criminal attorneys also understand how to prepare a strategically sound defense so that if they spot a defense issue or otherwise decide to take the case to trial, they will be prepared to aggressively do so.