The Benefits and Drawbacks of DUI Plea Bargains in Illinois

If an individual is facing a DUI charge, and they are offered a plea deal, they should be aware of the pros and cons of taking it.

When an individual is facing a DUI charge it can be a terrifying experience, and they may not know what to expect or do, especially if they are offered a plea deal by the prosecutor. It can be difficult to decipher what exactly a plea bargain can offer them, and if it can even help them in the long run. That’s why in this article, McClintock Law is going to explain the pros and cons of taking a plea deal, and how it can affect the defendant. 

Key Takeaways:

Oftentimes, a defendant may be offered a plea deal when they are facing a DUI charge, it is important that they know how it could affect them. 

  • A plea bargain is when a defendant enters a guilty or no-contest plea with the court.
  • There are several benefits of entering a plea bargain; it can prevent the defendant from going to jail, they will face a less severe sentence, and the charges may be lessened. 
  • There may also be consequences for entering a plea bargain. These can include the DUI going on their permanent record, they cannot appeal the decision, and they no longer have the right to a trial. 
  • When being offered a plea bargain, the defendant should consider several important factors like how strong the case is against them and if they have any previous arrests. 
  • A defendant should always hire a credible and experienced DUI lawyer when they are considering taking a plea bargain. They can ensure the defendant is getting the best possible deal. 

What is a plea deal?

A plea bargain is when a defendant enters a guilty plea with the court. Plea bargains are often used in DUI cases for numerous different reasons that affect both the court and the defendant. For the courts, when a defendant takes a plea deal it expedites the legal process. The case will no longer go to trial because the individual has already admitted to the charge. They also allow for both the prosecution and defense to achieve some of their goals. Overall, a plea bargain is used frequently to make the legal proceedings occur more quickly, and they are able to reach a conclusion easier. 

What are the pros of taking a plea deal?

While a plea deal helps the court, it may also help the defendant as well. There are several different advantages that a defendant should consider when they are offered a plea deal. They can include:

  • A plea deal allows for the defendant to avoid going to trial. A trial can be time-consuming, expensive, and incredibly stressful. If a defendant enters a plea bargain, they will no longer have to go to trial, and they can avoid the entire process. 
  • If someone enters a plea bargain they will most likely get a shorter sentence and less severe penalties. This happens because the prosecutor will be more likely to negotiate with someone who has admitted their guilt. If it goes to trial, they will be more likely to push for harsher penalties. 
  • In some cases, if a defendant enters into a plea deal with the prosecutor, there is a chance for reduced charges or the expungement of their criminal record in the future. This can be beneficial to the defendant because it helps prevent some of the long-term repercussions of getting a DUI charge in Illinois. While this is not always offered by the prosecutor, it is an important factor to consider if presented. 

There are many different benefits that defendants should consider when they are offered a plea bargain by the prosecutor. It could potentially save them time, money, and it can lessen the charges placed against them. 

What are the cons of taking a plea deal?

While a plea bargain may sound like it can solve most of the problems that arise from a DUI charge, there can be several negative side effects to taking one. A defendant needs to be aware of them, so they can make a more informed decision if they are ever offered a plea deal for a DUI charge. These negative consequences can include:

  • The defendant has officially admitted to their guilt, and they have waived the right to trial. When a defendant does this it means that their case will no longer appear in court because they have already admitted to their guilt and received a sentence. 
  • When someone has pleaded guilty to a DUI charge, it can go on their criminal record. This can have severe negative impacts on their future career and housing options. Employers and rental owners may be more unwilling to hire or rent property to someone that has a criminal background. 
  • When an individual takes a plea bargain, they will no longer be able to appeal to the higher courts. This means that if they were to grow upset with the outcome of the plea bargain, they would not be able to take it to court. They are stuck with the original sentence. 

If a defendant is ever offered a plea bargain for a DUI charge, they should carefully consider the repercussions that can occur if they take it. A plea bargain does not make all of their problems go away, and in fact, it can create more problems for the defendant. That’s why it’s important to recognize the pros and cons of getting a plea bargain. 

What factors should you consider when taking a plea deal?

When a defendant is offered a plea bargain there are several different factors that they should consider when deciding whether or not to accept it. These different factors can determine whether or not the individual should take the plea bargain or if it would be an unwise decision. The first one that they should consider is the strength of the prosecution’s case. If they have a strong case with evidence like the defendant’s BAC levels, failed field sobriety test, or eyewitness testimony, the defendant should consider taking a plea bargain. It will prevent them from going to court and being found guilty, something that would most likely have them serve a harsher sentence. 

There are other factors that should also be considered, and these can include the defendant’s previous criminal record and personal situation. If they have a previous criminal record, they are more likely to face harsh penalties if they get charged with a DUI. This means that taking a plea bargain may be advisable. Additionally, the defendant should consider their own familial and personal circumstances when deciding whether or not to take a plea bargain. If they are a parent, have a medical condition, or have other exceptional living conditions it could compel them to take the bargain. There are many different factors that a defendant should consider before they accept a plea deal. 

Should you hire a lawyer to represent you for your DUI plea deal?

If a defendant is facing a possible DUI charge, they should always hire a credible DUI lawyer. A credible defense lawyer will have the experience needed to help get the individual through their DUI charge. Whether it be by making a good plea deal or going to court to fight the charge, a DUI lawyer can make a critical difference in the case. And that’s what we do at McClintock Law, we work to make sure that all of our clients get the best outcomes. We understand that one bad day should not determine a person’s entire life, and that’s why we’re here to help. So call us now at (309)715-7181 for a free consultation!

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