If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI), the prosecuting attorney may offer you a plea deal. A plea deal involves pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for lighter penalties. For example, you may be able to plead guilty to reckless driving and avoid a drunk driving conviction. A conviction for DUI carries penalties that you may be able to avoid by pleading guilty to a lesser criminal offense, however, it is ultimately up to the prosecutor’s discretion to offer a plea deal or plea bargain. An experienced DUI defense attorney can help you understand all of your legal options and choose the course of action that is most likely to reduce the penalties you face.
Things to Think About Before Taking a Plea Deal
If you have been accused of drinking and driving, you may be tempted to accept the prosecutor’s plea deal to resolve your case as quickly as possible and get on with your life. However, it is important to remember that:
- Your auto insurance company may raise your premiums. If you accept a plea bargain for a DUI, there is still a good chance your insurance company may increase your car insurance payments. Having a reckless driving conviction on your record can cause your payments to increase significantly.
- If you failed a breathalyzer, your license will still be suspended even if you avoid conviction. Illinois imposes automatic administrative penalties when a driver fails a chemical blood alcohol test such as a breathalyzer. So, you may lose your license even if you avoid conviction for DUI. Losing your driving privileges can make it nearly impossible to get to work and fulfill other important responsibilities. You may have to depend on your family members and friends to drive you places until your license suspension ends.
- You may still have a conviction on your record. Even if a prosecutor allows you to plead down to a lesser charge, a criminal conviction may still show up on background checks. This can make it more difficult to get a job or secure housing in the future.
Contact an Arlington Heights, IL DUI Attorney
If you are facing a DUI charge, consider speaking to a Rolling Meadows, IL DUI lawyer for legal guidance. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law has extensive experience handling DUI cases and may review your case and advise you on the best way to proceed. To schedule a free consultation, call 847-253-3400....