Andrew H. Stevenson Attorney at Law LLC
What to consider before taking a plea
If you have been charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, the main question you may have for your attorney is what will happen to you should you decide not to challenge the charges against you. Of course, the prosecutor will likely express the intent to settle matter immediately without going to trial, but there certainly will be a price to pay. Also, drunk driving cases are commonly settled before trial.
With that, it is important to take this decision seriously and ask several questions before making a decision. This post will cover some common questions you should ask.
Will my plea result in a conviction? – This is critical given that convictions may be a permanent part of your record unless you make (and fulfill) specific terms that will lead to the conviction being removed.
Could I beat the charges at trial? – Knowing how you will do at trial is also an important consideration. After all, if you lose, you may end up worse off than if you would have pled out.
What will happen at sentencing? – It may be difficult to tell at the outset, but your past criminal history and driving record will likely be considered during negotiations with the prosecutor.
How difficult will it be to clear my record? – As we noted earlier, a plea deal may be beneficial if it can lead to your record being cleared. However, whether a conviction may be expunged depends on your individual circumstances.
If you have additional questions or need representation, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help.