Are Most DWI Or DUI Cases Settled With Plea Deals? Is This The Best Option For Everyone?
Whether to take a case to trial or resolve it by way of a plea is a decision that will be made by you and your attorney based upon the specific facts of the case. If you have a viable defense and a set of circumstances that you believe would warrant a not-guilty charge, then you could negotiate with the prosecutor for a lesser offense. If the prosecutor is willing to accept that, then you can enter into a plea deal, and if the prosecutor is not willing to accept that, then you may be looking at exercising your constitutional right to trial. In my opinion, the determination of whether to take a plea or go to trial also comes down to time. You will have a 30-day temporary driving permit, which means after day 31, you cannot drive. If your trial is scheduled six months from now, then you will be disallowed from driving until your trial.
You and your attorney must try to determine the likelihood of a conviction, the strength of the evidence against you, and whether you want to seek a reduction on the license loss. Simply checking the boxes and asking the court clerk to schedule you for trial will not mean that you can drive while waiting for the trial. You also need to make a determination regarding the administrative license suspension of 180 days.
The prosecutor might impose a license loss through the court, and in exchange, there will be no license loss through the ALS hearing. If you gave a breathalyzer sample at the time of the arrest, your license loss from the court and DMV can run concurrently. One of the DMV-imposed penalties associated with a refusal is that the ALS license loss must run consecutively to any other license loss. This means that if a judge imposes a four-month license loss and you have a DMV-imposed 180-day license loss, then you will have technically lost your license for a total of 10 months. Further, you would not be able to drive while awaiting trial or the results from the administrative license suspension hearing.
What Criteria Do You Consider When Advising Clients On Whether They Should Take Their DWI Case To Trial Or Accept The Plea Offer?
Determining whether a case should go to trial or resolve by a plea agreement is absolutely fact-determinative. Questions that must be considered include when and how the initial stop was conducted, what level of seniority the officer had, what the police report shows, and whether or not a blood, breath, or urine sample was provided. If there was a violation of constitutional rights, policy, or procedures, then motions to suppress can be filed in court to exclude evidence.
You may be in a situation where the facts are lined up against you and you want to take responsibility for your actions. In doing so, your attorney may be able to mitigate your damages through negotiations with the prosecutor. If you choose to exercise your right to go to trial, just remember that the DMV-imposed license suspension will prohibit you from driving until the trial. For many people, this consequence plays a role in their decision as to whether they will accept a plea or proceed to trial.
How Often Are You Able To Get Charges Like Jail Time Or Fines Reduced In These Types Of Cases?
Whether or not the penalties associated with DWI or DUI will be reduced depends on a number of factors, including your level of cooperation with the officer, prior convictions, your post-arrest behavior at the police station, whether you had a valid driver’s license, and whether you were operating the vehicle in a reckless manner.
There is no jail time on a first-offense misdemeanor DWI, but there is a license loss and fine. An aggravated DWI or multiple DWI offenses carry mandatory jail time. If you have a simple DWI offense, it may be possible to have it reduced to a reckless operation or some other type of motor vehicle offense.
What Are The Typical Sentencing Guidelines In New Hampshire For DWI And DUI Cases? Are There Alternative Punishments For First-Time Offenders?
A first-offense DWI in New Hampshire results in a nine-month to two-year loss of license and a $500 to $1,200 fine, so there is some discretion on both the license loss and the fine. If you enter a state-approved impaired driver care management program, then the length of your license suspension will be reduced by six months. For example, if you are given a nine-month loss of license and completed an impaired driver care management program, then you would only have a three-month loss of license.
For a first-offense DWI, there is no exposure to jail time, but a subsequent or aggravated DWI will result in mandatory jail time. The timing of your prior offense conviction in relation to the present offense conviction is going to be crucial. For example, if your prior DWI is from two years ago, then you will receive more jail time, longer license loss, and higher fines than you would if your prior DWI was from 10 years ago.
New Hampshire is a very tough DWI state that does not offer diversion or alternative sentences for DWI offenses; there is no ankle bracelet program, community service component, or drug court option that will allow you to avoid a DWI or DUI conviction.
For more information on DUI Cases, a personalized case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (603) 880-1300 today.
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