Our DUI Attorney Concord CA Discusses Pleading Guilty to a DUI
Clients often ask our DUI attorney Concord CA, if they should enter a guilty plea or try to fight the charges against them. Once you plead guilty, your lawyer will give you a form that states that you are waiving many of your constitutional rights in the case, including the right to remain silent, the right to a trial by jury and the right to cross-examine witnesses. The form will include several disclosures, including the minimum and maximum penalties that you face. In some jurisdictions, the judge will review the form with you in order to ensure that you understand the conditions outlined therein. He or she wants to go on record in the case so that you do not have a basis to fight the conviction by stating that you didn’t realize what you were signing or that you misunderstood the terms of the plea. However, in other locales, the judge does not review a plea in open court.
Understanding a Guilty Plea
Some people do not understand that a guilty plea is identical to a conviction in the eyes of the law. On your criminal record, the conviction will appear the same as a jury verdict of guilty. Clients sometimes misunderstand the implications of a guilty plea and deny that they have a conviction on their record. Our DUI attorney Concord CA, can provide you with important information about protecting your rights. As a matter of course, you are legally entitled to a lawyer even if you cannot afford one. If you do not have an attorney or if your public defender is pressuring you to sign a plea deal, you might want to seek outside counsel to make sure that you are making a wise decision. It can be nearly impossible to withdraw from the plea once you sign it. You should not make this decision lightly. Ask our DUI attorney Concord CA, to review your case and make sure that you should enter a guilty plea.
Penalties After a DUI Conviction
Every state across the nation views DUI convictions somewhat differently. However, a first conviction is charged at least as a misdemeanor with as much as six months in custody and additional fines. In addition, your driver’s license will probably be suspended for 12 months, and you will have to pay significant fees when you want your license to be reinstated. These sanctions are separate from those imposed by the courts. You might need to install and pay for an ignition interlock device, but you might be allowed to drive back and forth to work or for medical appointments. In some states, you will need to serve a minimum of one to three days in jail. You will likely need to attend some type of DUI classes, outpatient treatment or even residential treatment. You could be placed on probation for three years or longer, and if you fail to abide by your probation conditions, your probation could be revoked, which might mean additional time in custody. No alcohol consumption is permitted while you are on probation. These penalties are enhanced if an injury is associated with your DUI or if you have any prior convictions.
Second and Subsequent Convictions
If you have a second or a subsequent conviction, the courts will look at each case individually prior to sentencing. For example, if your BAC was slightly over the limit, you will likely receive the minimum according to law. But if you registered a BAC of .15 percent or higher or if an injury was involved, you could receive the maximum penalty allowed by law. The website www.ncdd.com lists up-to-date information on the minimum and maximum penalties for each state.
DUI school is nearly always a mandatory requirement if you received a DUI. You can take advantage of this opportunity and learn everything you can from it, especially how to avoid a DUI in the future. If you apply what you learn, you will probably be able to keep from reoffending. Be forewarned that a prior DUI will count against you if you commit another DUI within the next seven to 10 years, depending on the jurisdiction. Mandatory penalties for any subsequent DUIs increase substantially.
Call Our DUI Attorney Concord CA
If you are wondering whether or not to enter a guilty plea, call our DUI attorney Concord CA, The Law Office of Blackie Burak, at (925) 933-4500 .