Reduction of Charges
An experienced Orange County DUI reduced charges attorney knows that your case must be evaluated in terms of whether to take it to trial or to accept a plea bargain. Taking a case to trial and winning will result in the charges against you being dismissed. However, if the jury decides against you, you are exposed to a wide range sentence, which is up to the Judge to decide. You are then sentenced based upon the actual conviction which may or may not be better than a plea bargain would have been.
An attorney, who has a long history of negotiating plea bargains, will know how and when to begin negotiating a settlement with the District Attorney. Depending upon the facts of your DUI arrest and charges, some goals a DUI reduced charges attorney in Orange County might have are:
- a reduced sentence,
- a reduced charge, or
Some of the more common reduced DUI charges are a "wet reckless" and a "dry reckless", exhibition of speed, drunk in public and, in some cases, traffic infractions. Below is a more detailed explanation of some of these examples:
A wet reckless basically means that alcohol or drugs were involved in your arrest. Advantages over a conviction of DUI are:
- Less jail time;
- Reduced fines, and
- No mandatory license suspension.
However, a wet reckless is still what is called "priorable" which means that it can be counted as a DUI second offense if you are convicted of a DUI within 10 years of your wet reckless conviction.
A dry reckless is basically misdemeanor reckless driving. A dry reckless has some major advantages over a wet reckless. 1) It doesn't count as a DUI on your criminal and driving record, and 2) it most likely will not have as serious an effect on your insurance premium. However, just like a wet reckless and a DUI, it does count as 2 points on your driving record and accumulating too many points in a given time period, can trigger a negligent operator license suspension.
The more aggressive your Orange County DUI reduced charges lawyer is in identifying problems in the prosecution's case, such as police misconduct or mistake, the more bargaining power he or she has when negotiating lesser charges and lesser sentencing. Since plea-bargaining is basically negotiation between your attorney and the District Attorney, presenting challenges for the District Attorney by finding holes in their case is one way a good DUI defense attorney builds their defense. An experienced DUI Defense Attorney will look closely at the police report and at the conduct of the investigating officers. Specifically, any misconduct or violation of rights must be taken into consideration. Further, if a field sobriety test was performed, and this is what the arrest was based on, it should be challenged due to the fact that field sobriety tests are subjective, basically the opinion of the officer performing the test. If a roadside Breathalyzer is used, this must also be looked at carefully as the results are unreliable and there are too many ways to skew the results.
The law does require that anyone being arrested for suspicion of DUI must take a chemical test. Blood or breath, at the police station, are the two choices. However, there is no legal obligation for anyone to perform a field sobriety test. If a breath test was used at the police station, the maintenance logs of the breath machine need to be examined. If blood was taken, the attorney may want to employ the services of an expert to perform a "Blood Split", which can help determine the blood alcohol level at the time of the stop rather than at the time the blood was taken. This can sometimes result in a lower blood alcohol level.
Anyone who has been arrested for DUI, Driving Under the Influence or Drunk Driving, needs a DUI reduced charges lawyer in Orange County who is skilled and will gather the appropriate evidence, know how to use it intelligently and efficiently, and render the best possible outcome for their client.