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DWI Plea Bargaining

Westchester County Lawyers Advocating for Defendants in Drunk Driving Cases

If you have been arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in New York, an experienced attorney can help you contest the charges and protect your rights. In many cases, DWI plea bargaining is an important part of defending against a charge. Negotiating with the prosecution may lead to an agreement that is more beneficial than the risk and expense of a trial. The Westchester County DWI lawyers at Tilem & Associates carefully analyze each DWI case, whether it is a first-time or repeat DWI, for information that may be used to argue in favor of a particular plea offer. We can address any concerns that you may have about DWI plea bargaining and assist you in determining whether to accept an offer.

Plea Bargaining in New York DWI Cases

Plea bargaining is a negotiation process in which the prosecution and defense attempt to reach an agreement regarding the outcome of a criminal case and avoid a trial. Since the facts and issues of each case are unique, there is no standard arrangement. In a typical plea agreement, the defendant will agree to plead guilty and waive the right to a trial. In exchange, the prosecution will lower or dismiss one or more of the charges or recommend a lighter sentence, or a combination. The plea agreement will then be presented to the court for approval.

There are many aspects of DWI plea bargaining. Each side will consider the circumstances of the arrest and the offense charged. The parties will evaluate the amount of admissible evidence against the defendant and the strength of any potential defenses that may be asserted by the defendant. In a DWI case, the prosecutor will be primarily concerned with the defendant’s criminal history, particularly prior drug- or alcohol-related driving offenses, and with any aggravating factors, such as injuries or property damage caused by an accident in connection with the drunk driving. The defense, in turn, will advocate for the best possible outcome based on the weaknesses of the case, including a lowered, non-criminal offense or dismissal if possible.

In New York, prosecutors must adhere to the local District Attorney’s policy guidelines and other laws that limit plea bargaining. For example, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level much higher than the legal limit may invoke local policies that restrict the prosecution’s plea bargaining range. A significant restriction under New York law prevents the prosecution from reducing a DWI charge to a charge lower than Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) by alcohol in most situations. Nevertheless, prosecutors have some discretion if there is good cause that a DWAI or DWI charge is unjustified, and the court approves the agreement. An experienced DWI defense attorney can identify problems in the prosecution’s case, such as an illegal traffic stop or missing evidence, and argue for a more favorable offer outside the normal limitations.

The advantages of plea bargaining are specific to an individual’s situation. In DWI cases, the range of punishments upon a conviction varies widely, as do conditions for probation. For many people, possessing some control over the bargaining process and the outcome of the case provides a sense of relief. Furthermore, a plea agreement eliminates the uncertainty and expense of a trial. Ultimately, the defendant should make a decision after thoroughly discussing the matter with his or her attorney.

Seek Knowledgeable Guidance from a DWI Defense Attorney in Westchester County

At Tilem & Associates, we have the knowledge and skill to represent you in DWI plea bargaining. We provide guidance to people throughout Westchester County, as well as in Bronx, Queens, Kings, Nassau, Suffolk, Richmond, Rockland, and Putnam Counties. If you have legal questions about a criminal matter, contact Tilem & Associates online or call 877-377-8666 and make an appointment with one of our experienced DWI lawyers. We handle serious felony charges as well as misdemeanors and relatively minor violations.