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DUI Plea Bargain

Should I take a DUI Plea Bargain?
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Pleading guilty can have lasting consequences, so before you take a deal, talk to an attorney.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense in Colorado, resulting in the suspension of your driver’s license, stiff penalties, and even jail time upon conviction. If you have been charged with this offense, your attorney will first look at the facts surrounding your arrest to see if there were violations to your rights or the testing mechanism that was used was faulty. Some of the reasons DUI charges are dropped include:

  • No probable cause for a DUI stop
  • Inaccurate field sobriety test, inaccurate breathalyzer results, or faulty urinalysis or blood test administration
  • Innocent reasons for DUI symptoms
  • Involuntary intoxication

If there are no errors that result in the charge being dropped, your attorney will attempt to negotiate a DUI plea bargain on your behalf. In some cases, it is possible to get this charge reduced to a reckless driving charge, resulting in lesser penalties — particularly if it is your first offense. However, it will require some effort on your part. Here are 5 steps you can take to obtaining a DUI plea bargain.

DUI Plea Bargain: 5 Steps to Getting A DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving

1. Hire an Experienced DUI Attorney

Hiring a criminal defense attorney with experience in DUI cases should be done as soon as possible after you are charged. Before you make a statement to police, attend a court hearing, or post a single thing on social media about the trouble you’re in, talk to a lawyer who can protect your freedom, your rights, and your ability to have your charge reduced. DUI attorneys can not only provide guidance regarding your legal options but can also use their knowledge of the criminal court process to negotiate a plea bargain for you… But the sooner the attorney can begin working on our case, the better.

2. Take Alcohol Education Classes

Level 2 alcohol education classes are required by most people who have been convicted of a DUI. However, if you agree to take these classes before your case goes to trial, it will improve your chances of obtaining a DUI plea bargain. Level 2 alcohol education classes consist of both alcohol and drug education as well as treatment. The hours of required education and treatment vary, depending on the severity of the offense. Taking classes in advance is not an admission that you are guilty. It is simply a useful tool in the plea bargaining process.

3. Perform Useful Public Service

Useful public service is also a common component of DUI sentences. Completing useful public service (UPS) before you are convicted of DUI and court-ordered to do so is another way to show the court that you have taken responsibility for your actions and are accepting of the consequences. Colorado Springs clients are encouraged to perform UPS hours through Front Range Community Service, which is the organization that Colorado’s Fourth Judicial District (covering El Paso and Teller Counties) has contracted to arrange for these services. El Paso County estimates that Front Range Community Service receives around 6,075 referrals for UPS each year, with those completing their public service hours providing this service to non-profit agencies in the area.

4. Complete the MADD VIP Course

Completing a MADD VIP course is yet another step that will aid your lawyer in being able to reduce your charge through a DUI plea bargain. These courses are available in person in Colorado Springs. MADD is the national drunk driving prevention organization otherwise known as Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. VIP stands for Victim Impact Panel. The courses provide drunk and drugged drivers the opportunity to hear the stories of victims of drunk driving accidents, including family members of those who have been killed by drunk or drugged drivers. While not blaming or judging offenders, these victims share their stories of how drunk driving has impacted them in order to help offenders to understand the severity of the consequences that their choices have placed on other people. 

5. Complete Free Pre-Trial Urinalysis

Often, judges who are sentencing those convicted of DUI order court-monitored sobriety through the submission of urinalysis screenings. If an offender waits until he or she is sentenced, they will be forced to pay for the urinalysis on their own. The Colorado Fourth Judicial District reports that the cost of each screening is generally between $11 to $15 for a 7-panel screening and even more if the screening is being used to test for designer drugs such as bath salts. As these screenings will be required on a regular basis, the costs of the service can be quite high. However, Harbor House Clinic provides free pretrial sobriety services, including urinalysis, which means cost savings for you and is another way you can help your attorney to negotiate a plea bargain in your case.

Don’t Let One Wrong Decision Impact Your Life, Job or Freedom.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you plea bargain in a DUI case?

A DUI plea bargain is almost always a possible option for a DUI case. In some scenarios, it is an excellent way to reduce DUI charges. An experienced DUI attorney will be able to review your case and determine whether a DUI plea bargain is a good option for you.

How can I reduce my DUI charges?

There are a few different ways of reducing DUI charges and the best option for you will depend on the specifics of your case. In some cases attending alcohol classes or taking part in a rehabilitation program may help lessen the penalties, while in other cases a DUI plea bargain will be the best option.

What is a plea deal for DUI?

A plea deal (or plea bargain) is where you plead guilty (generally to a lesser charge) in order to get a reduced sentence or reduced penalties.

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