Plea Bargains for DUI Charge
In California, when facing a driving under the influence (DUI) charge, a defendant can use a specific form of a plea bargain to reduce the charge, and subsequent sentencing. If the defendant agrees to a plea bargain of reckless driving under Vehicle Code 23103 VC, they face a lesser charge than if they had plead guilty to a DUI charge.
The most important part of pleading to a lesser charge of reckless driving is that a defendant’s criminal record will not include a mention of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while driving. Furthermore, there are also lesser punishments for reckless driving than a DUI. For example, an individual may have a shorter probation, which comes in handy if they are arrested again for another charge. Moreover, given that the defendant no longer appears to have been under the influence, they also do not have to attend any DUI programs, which are mandatory (unless the prosecutor makes it a part of the deal). In general, if they do receive this plea, the defendant will face the punishments of up to 90 days in a California county jail, a fine, and possible points addition to their driving record.
What is important to note, however, is that not every case of an impending DUI conviction can be plead down to a reckless driving charge. Some DUI cases also involve other criminal activity, which decrease the possibility of being able to negotiate for this plea bargain. Nonetheless, some cases are offered this plea, and they usually involve a defendant whose blood alcohol concentration wasn’t too far off from the 0.08% legal limit; although, again, this will depend on the case and the prosecutor.