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Watch this first! Don’t plead guilty

In this video, we’ll show you the often-overlooked benefits of pleading not guilty instead of guilty. By pleading not guilty, you’ll avoid a lot of hassles, and possibly even a conviction.

Pleading not guilty is an important decision that you shouldn’t take lightly — it can have far-reaching consequences, both legal and emotional. But by watching this video, you’ll have all the information you need to make the right decision for your case. So what are you waiting for? Watch it and find out!

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Transcript

Speaker 1
00;00;00;01 – 00;00;01;09
Hi, everyone. Should I accept a plea bargain in my DUI case? This is Christina Williams, with Just Criminal Law.
Speaker 2
00;00;08;06 – 00;00;09;25
And this is David Man, legal storytelling specialist. Okay, so plea bargains. We hear about those sometimes. I don’t know if we’re always sure exactly what that means. So, first of all, what does that even mean?
Speaker 1
00;00;20;03 – 00;00;20;15
Well, a plea bargain is when you’re willing to say ‘I did it, I’m guilty,’ but you want certain terms and conditions to go along with that, or you can get more favorable terms or conditions if you have somebody helping you that knows what they’re doing. So it’s just a compromise between the state and the defendant. And the state doesn’t have to prove their case at trial. The defendant doesn’t have to risk maybe being convicted of everything they’re charged with, for example. But it’s just a way to met in the middle. And, hopefully, you know, both sides are okay with the result.
Speaker 2
00;01;01;17 – 00;01;02;00
Okay. So as I always say, I’m the legal storytelling guy. So every case has its own story. So I suppose that when there’s a plea bargain on the table, there’s both sides that have a story. So what’s one that you can think of that really shows where this would come into play?
Speaker 1
00;01;19;22 – 00;01;20;07
Sure. There are definitely occasions where people get charged with a DUI and they’re less than the legal limit. And I’m thinking of a particular case
where I had a client who went out the night before, he was partying with some friends. He had to go to work the next morning. And, you know, he went to bed.
He got several hours of sleep, but he had to get up early and go to work. And so he’s headed to work and the road conditions are not that great. You know,
it’s wet and it’s cold and the road is icy. So as he’s on his way to work, he stops at a faraway stoplight. It’s flashing red and he proceeds through the intersection.
Now, someone who is on their way to work as well but in, you know, much more of a hurry, attempts to top in the other lane that ran perpendicular to him and he wasn’t
able to come to a complete stop and ended up sliding into the back of my client’s pickup. Well, the police were naturally called and the officer smelled alcohol on my client’s breath.
Speaker 2
00;02;35;18 – 00;02;36;26
So at that point, he’s getting stopped for a DUI, even though he really hasn’t been out drinking recently.
Speaker 1
00;02;41;02 – 00;02;41;26
Right. And, you know, there’s been an accident. And he explains to the officer, ‘I went out the night before but, you know, it’s been hours since my last drink.’
Well, they run him through field sobriety tests. And, you know, he’s really preoccupied. He’s worried. He’s nervous. ‘Oh my gosh, what if I don’t make it to work? I’m
going to lose my job.’ He doesn’t do that great on the maneuvers and they arrest him. He gets to the jail and it turns out he’s only a .05.
Speaker 2
00;03;12;02 – 00;03;13;03
Wow. Okay. So I would think at that point, he’s free right? Because he’s not over the limit.
Speaker 1
00;03;18;16 – 00;03;19;09
Well, you know, the DUI laws are not straightforward. And you can be charged with a DUI if you’re less than a .08. That is, between a .05 and a .079,
the state can still charge you with a DUI with the allegation that you’re unable to safely operate a motor vehicle. Well, because of the accident,
the state said, you know, ‘He clearly wasn’t able to safely operate his pickup.’ However, the accident was not his fault. So we had to really negotiate
with the prosecutor, but we got a fair result. They reduced the charges and he didn’t have a DUI conviction. He just had a moving violation, which is similar to a speeding
ticket or a stop sign violation.
Speaker 2
00;04;05;12 – 00;04;07;08
Yeah, that’s a big difference when it comes to things like, you know, how it’s going to show up on your insurance, or other records in the future.
So this is a good example here. You went into the background and said the details of the case and found out what else was in play here. With people who are over .08,
is there any wiggle room on that at all? Is there still a plea bargain option, and what does that look like?
Speaker 1
00;04;29;03 – 00;04;30;07
Absolutely. You know, a majority of our cases there, the person is above .08 and there is a good plea bargain and there’s a bad plea bargain.
It depends on the level of experience of the attorney that’s representing you. But, you know, stuff to take into consideration is the length of the probation.
Sometimes you can get a special deal where, if you make it through probation, the state will actually dismiss your DUI and you don’t have a conviction on your record.
You know, there’s consequences like insurance and, if you have a conviction, you’re going to end up with needing three years of high-risk insurance. And all of those
things can be negotiated so that, in the end, you have the fewest consequences possible. And, really, somebody who has gone in and pled guilty themselves and just kind of
thrown themselves at the mercy of the court – their result can look vastly different than someone who went ahead and got an experienced attorney to help them.
Speaker 2
00;05;33;28 – 00;05;35;14
Wow. That really is a big difference because it’s not just the difference in waht happens that day or that month when this is going on, but like, the years down the line
you can still be paying for this. So it sounds like getting an attorney and getting an attorney very quickly is really a good idea. So, how would they get ahold of you
if that were to happen?
Speaker 1
00;05;52;20 – 00;05;53;02
Sure. We’ll include a link in the description where they can call, text, or chat with a member of my team, day or night.
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