Plea Bargaining

Skilled Phoenix DUI lawyer discusses plea bargaining and how it can be used to reduce or mitigate your DUI charges in Arizona. 

Read Our FREE DUI Guide

One of the hallmarks of the criminal justice system is the ability for a public defender or a privately retained defense attorney to work and negotiate out a deal with the prosecutor. That is no difference when it comes down to DUI. Although there are mandatory sentencing guidelines as it relates to DUI in Arizona, whether it’s basic DUI or the super extreme DUI, there is some wiggle room in all of those statutes based on the specific facts of an individual case. Was the DUI alcohol? Was the DUI marijuana? Did you blow a 0.08, or did you blow a 0.289? Were you driving, or had you fell asleep behind the wheel of a car? Is this your first DUI, or is this your 15th DUI? Did you get in a car accident, or was there no other injured party? All of these will be factors that lean into how much wiggle room there is and whether there is a plea deal that relates to the DUI or not.

For example, in some courts, depending on where the DUI charge is processed through, offer a task program where if you complete so many hours of community service and alcohol-based training, some of the fines could possibly be reduced. Community service could be waived. That’s at the discretion of the judge. Maybe the nine days of the sentence is suspended. This is where all of the wiggle room plays into it, and again, you’ll be dealing with the judge and the prosecutor. Some prosecutors in the county have a mandatory rule that, if it’s your first DUI, they automatically offer you a task program, the deferred prosecution program.

Sometimes it could be reduced down to what we lawyers refer to as reckless driving, but again, these are all fact-intensive. I don’t recommend anybody stick with an attorney that just blindly hands you the first plea bargaining deal that’s in front of you. You need to look at what the officer said. You need to review his report. You need to go out to the scene and take pictures of the incident and then make a sound decision as to what could be negotiated out. Write a deviation letter requesting the prosecutor to deviate away from the charges.

There’s always opportunities within the framework. Some of it is mandatory, but there is some wiggle room, whether it’s a super extreme DUI or basic DUI. There are some opportunities there to work out some of the things to where the punishment doesn’t seem as harsh as it’s supposed to be, but again, it’s case-by-case based on the facts, and you would want to discuss that with your attorney, who would go in there and make sure that you’re not being over-sentenced or disciplined unnecessarily for being arrested for DUI.

Were you pulled over for DUI in Arizona and have questions about how your charges could be reduced by plea bargaining? Contact our dedicated Phoenix DUI lawyers for a free confidential consultation. Let us fight to protect your rights.