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What is a Plea Bargain in a DWI Case?

Posted on June 26, 2023 in

It is essential to understand your options if you have been charged with a DUI in Texas. Each case is unique and requires a Houston DUI attorney focused on your situation. A plea bargain may be an option offered to you, so understanding this alternative will play a part in informed decision-making.

What is a Plea Bargain?

A plea bargain in Texas in a DUI case means that you have reached an agreement with the state and must plead guilty to the charges. Doing this will reduce your punishment, and you will no longer have your case tried before a jury. An often overloaded court system is more reason for the state to mediate a plea bargain instead of going to trial. 

The Benefits of a Plea Bargain

Plea bargains can be particularly beneficial in DUI cases if your attorney is inclined to believe a jury and judge may deliver a harsh or maximum sentence. The county you were arrested in and the jury that will listen to your case will determine the outcome of your sentencing and could demand higher restitution based on their views of DUI.

Negotiating a plea bargain also means your case is resolved quickly and with a better result producing lower penalties and lesser charges. 

Types of Plea Bargains

The option of two plea bargains exists, leading to either a sentence reduction or a charge reduction.

Charge Reduction

Your charges are lowered in a charge reduction plea bargain. This reduction can have significant consequences, meaning that if your current charges are reduced to reckless driving, this charge could not be used to enhance or increase the penalties should you receive a future DUI.

Sentence Reduction

A sentence reduction plea bargain allows you to accept a mandatory minimum sentence in exchange for a guilty plea and not risk a more severe punishment that could result from a court case. Your Houston DUI lawyer will explain how both options can benefit you so that you can make an informed choice.

Years of successful representation of DUI cases in Houston, Texas, have taught us how to examine every aspect of a DUI charge to formulate a strong plan of action to reduce your charges.

The Consequences of a DUI

A DUI charge is an expensive offense costing thousands of dollars, bringing possible jail time, and impacting your personal and professional life for years. Protecting yourself from the impact of a DUI is necessary; a plea bargain may be one way to minimize the severity of these charges. The charges below do not reflect the state’s assessed fine when sentenced, which could cost $3,000, $4,500, or $6,000.

First Offense

  • Three days up to 180 days in jail
  • Fine up to $2,0000
  • Loss of driving privileges for up to one year

Second Offense

  • One month to a year in jail
  • Fine up to $4,000
  • Loss of driving privileges for up to two years
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device if the offense occurs within five years of the first charge

Third Offense

  • Two to Ten years in prison
  • A fine of $10,000
  • Loss of driving privileges for up to two years
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device if the offense occurs within five years of another DUI charge

Your Texas DUI Defense

Plea bargains may offer less severe penalties when appearing before a jury is a riskier option. Ultimately, the decision belongs to our client. But the Law Office of David A. Breston, Criminal Defense Attorney, will work closely with you to make an informed decision that results in your best outcome.