Your Plea Options After A DUI
If you are charged with a DUI, you may consider the different plea options available to you. Often, people who face DUI charges plea no contest to the allegations, which can help them avoid a lawsuit and potentially other consequences associated with pleading guilty.
When is it a good idea to take a no contest plea? If you are facing a felony DUI, you might wonder what your options are. These are the different kinds of pleas you might consider if you face trial.
What Is a Guilty Plea?
When you plead guilty, you are telling the court that you participated in the crime you are accused of committing. You will not take your case to trial if you plead guilty, and you will go right to sentencing.
What Is a Not Guilty Plea?
If you plead not guilty, you are contesting the accusations of the prosecution, saying that you are innocent or guilty of a lesser crime. You may claim that you are not guilty if you are ready to take your case to court.
What Exactly Is a "No Contest" Plea?
If you plead no contest, it is quite similar to pleading guilty. The conviction will be on your criminal record, and you will still face the same consequences. If you are charged with a felony and you plead no contest, you are still considered a felon.
What Is an Alford Plea?
An Alford plea is a plea you might take if you believe yourself to be innocent but do not want to risk taking your case to court. Not all states offer an Alford plea. Essentially, this type of plea allows you to plead guilty while maintaining that you are innocent but that the court has enough evidence to convict you.
What Kind of Plea Should You Take?
No two cases are exactly alike, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You need to carefully analyze your case and assess the type of plea that would work better in your situation given the evidence against you. The best way to make this decision is to speak with a criminal defense attorney who handles cases similar to yours.
What Should You Do Next?
Your next step is to consult with a DUI attorney. An attorney can advise you which kind of plea works in your favor. After a DUI, you have many options. Do not act out of haste.