When the state brings impaired driving charges against you, you will naturally worry about what a conviction might mean for your future. A surprising number of defendants, including those accused of driving under the influence (DUI) offenses plead guilty right away because they think it isn’t worth their time and money to fight those charges in criminal court.
The truth is that avoiding a criminal conviction of any sort, including a DUI offense, can be the best outcome for someone accused of breaking the law, possibly by driving after having something to drink.
Why is it dangerous to just plead guilty?
The guilty plea does not limit your consequences
The most basic explanation for why the guilty plea is often a bad choice is that it will do very little to protect you. The judge presiding over your case will have the right to decide how to sentence you, regardless of how you plead.
While you might think a judge would be lenient toward you, especially if you are a professional or if the offense was a technical one that didn’t cause injuries or damage, the judge may have a personal crusade against drunk driving and could sentence you to the most serious penalties possible.
Beyond that, there are numerous other consequences you will have to consider. You will lose your license to drive, which can be a massive hardship and very expensive. When you get your license back, you can expect your insurance premium to go up roughly 77% because of your DUI offense. Your job and your professional licensing could also be at risk. You could lose commercial driving privileges or other professional licenses after a criminal conviction.
Fighting back against DUI charges requires careful planning but can be worth the effort that you invest.