Hampton Roads DUI Plea Deals

In regards to DUI arrainments, an important thing people should be aware of is making potential Hampton Roads DUI plea deals without an attorney’s input. The goal of an arraignment is for the accused to show up and answer the judges’ question about whether or not they want to have an attorney. A person should not give the facts of their case at that time, because anything they say could possibly be used as evidence against them at trial. Therefore, you may benefit from seeking legal advice from a driven DUI attorney prior to initial hearings.

Defining Types of DUI Plea Deals

In the state system, there are three types of Hampton Roads DUI plea deals the accused should consider. They can enter a guilty plea, a not guilty plea, or a plea of no contest. With a guilty or no contest plea, there will not be a trial. The case will be resolved right then, whereas a not guilty plea means a person is going to try the case and they are going to contest the evidence as presented.

A not guilty plea means that a person is denying they committed the offense and that the Commonwealth does not have the sufficient evidence to find him or her guilty. They essentially are saying that they believe they did not commit the offense, and the Commonwealth must put on evidence at that point prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person was, in fact, driving under the influence.

Continuing an Argue After Pleading Guilty

When a person pleads guilty, they are agreeing that the evidence as presented is sufficient to find him or her guilty and that they are in fact guilty of the crime. At that point a person cannot argue that he or she did not commit the offense. A person can still argue in mitigation by presenting evidence to show him or her in a good light either with regards to the event that the DUI involved or about their background. If they can show that this is an isolated incident it might affect their sentence, however they cannot contest that they committed the offense.

How Judges Treat Guilty Pleas

An attorney may advise someone to plead guilty when it is apparent that there would be enough evidence presented to find the person guilty of the alleged offense. If taking a case to trial would only paint the individual in an unfavorable light and the judge would be exposed to such factors, it could be good for the individual to plead guilty.

If the judge accepts a guilty plea at an arraignment, they may issue probation at that time. In some places, they are not able to plead guilty because the court will want the officer present and for the Commonwealth to have had time to review the case. However, if they are able to accept the plea at an arraignment, the judge can potentially sentence the person to probation.

What Does Pleading No Contest Mean for a DUI Case?

Pleading no contest is when a person is not agreeing that he or she committed the offense. However, a person is agreeing that the Commonwealth would have sufficient evidence to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. There are a couple reasons a person may do this. Often in civil cases a person enters a no contest plea or if they believe they could be found guilty of civil liability.

When a person does not have sufficient recollection of the case, it may be beneficial to defer to a lawyer’s judgement when determining Hampton Roads DUI plea deals. However, after reviewing their case they believe that the Commonwealth could prove that the individual committed those offenses, they may prefer plead no contest for that reason.

In certain circumstances where a person is seeking a deferred finding where a judge will continue a case for a period of time, may wish to plead no contest so that there is a necessary finding of guilt or admission of guilt.