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If you are facing a DUI charge, or an operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) charge as it is defined under Ohio law, chances are you are feeling stress, anxiety, and uncertainty over the best way to proceed. If this is your first encounter with the criminal justice system, you may be even more confused about how the process works and the best way to go about ensuring that your rights are protected. For someone who is encountering his or her second offense, it can still be a challenge to navigate, particularly considering that the penalties and fines associated with subsequent DUI / OVI charges can be quite severe. At the Law Offices of A. Dale Naticchia, we proudly serve clients throughout Akron and other areas of Cuyahoga County with drunk driving matters. A Cleveland DUI lawyer at our firm can assist you with protecting your rights, particularly when it comes to assessing a plea bargain and whether that is the right move for your situation.Plea Bargaining in DUI / OVI Cases
If you are facing a DUI / OVI charge in the State of Ohio, it is important to consider the penalties and fines that may be levied against you if you are convicted. Some examples include jail time and having your license suspended for a substantial period of time, which could impact your ability to get to work or take care of other important responsibilities. A plea bargain is a legal agreement between the prosecution and the defendant in which the defendant agrees to accept a conviction for a lesser charge in exchange for a more lenient sentence, or in exchange for dropping some of the other charges against the defendant.
It is important to consider the advantages and potential disadvantages of accepting a plea bargain before you proceed. For some defendants, being able to know for certain the penalties and fines that you will have to face is appealing. If you go to trial, there is an element of uncertainty regarding how the jury may assess your case and the sentencing that the judge will impose. Also, a plea bargain usually assures that you will have a lesser charge and/or fewer charges on your record long-term. There are also usually lower attorney fees with a plea bargain because you do not have to spend the time, expense, and resources associated with going to trial.
When it comes to a plea bargaining in DUI / OVI cases, however, you are essentially admitting guilt and you will certainly have a charge on your record. This could inhibit your ability to get certain jobs including work with the government. Also, if you have a strong case that you are innocent, a plea bargain can be a frustrating proposition. If you go to trial, there is always the possibility that the jury will decide not to convict you for the charges against you. It is important to consider the prosecuting attorney assigned to your case, the history of his or her office, and to gauge whether or not the prosecutor’s office is trying to make an example out of your case. This could mean that they will be more aggressive at trial.
Also, if you are facing a second DUI / OVI offense in 10 years, it is important to evaluate whether a plea bargain may reduce the charges and penalties against you. Ohio has taken a strict position on drivers who receive multiple DUI / OVI charges. Some of the penalties for repeat offenders are incredibly harsh, such as having your vehicle immobilized for 90 days for second offense within 10 years. For a third or subsequent offense, you could forfeit your car and lose the ability to have a vehicle in your name for five years. A plea bargain could help you ensure that you receive a reduced charge and/or have some charges dropped.Meet with a Responsive and Compassionate DUI / OVI Lawyer in Cleveland
If you are facing a DUI / OVI charge in Cleveland, there is no reason that you should have to navigate the process on your own. Plea bargaining in DUI / OVI cases can be complicated. Even if you think you know how to play the situation, having a seasoned and experienced defense attorney on your side can help to make sure that the other side is playing by the rules and that your rights are being protected. Our seasoned team of legal professionals has assisted clients throughout Parma, Berea, Rocky River, Bedford, Garfield Heights, Stow, and Barberton. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 216-520-5297 or contact us online.