Have you been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Lynwood or anywhere else in Washington? Depending on the circumstances, an attorney may be able to secure a reduction of your charges from DUI down to a less serious offense through negotiations with the prosecution. This process, known as “plea bargaining,” can be an invaluable tool to help protect you against serious consequences such as jail time, expensive fines, and a lengthy license suspension.
Plea bargains typically happen when the prosecutor has doubts of their ability to win at trial. Prosecutors will typically begin with an offer to reduce a charge from DUI to a lesser charge, with the defense issuing a counter-offer in pursuit of a further improved result. While plea bargains may not be as satisfying as a full acquittal of DUI charges during trial, once accepted, they are a sure thing and will allow a defendant to avoid a DUI conviction and its associate penalties.
In Washington, a DUI charge can sometimes be reduced to any of the following charges:
1. Reckless Driving: Driving with a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. Reckless driving carries a 30-day license suspension and no mandatory jail time.
2. Reckless Endangerment: Engaging in conduct that creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury or death to another. Reckless endangerment carries no license suspension or mandatory jail, not even a traffic offense.
3. Negligent Driving - First Degree: Driving a motor vehicle in a negligent manner that is likely to endanger person or property while exhibiting the effects of consuming alcohol or an illegal drug. A first degree negligent driving charge carries no license suspension and no mandatory jail time.
4. Negligent Driving - Second Degree: Driving in a negligent manner that is likely to endanger person or property. Second degree negligent driving is a minor traffic infraction punishable by only a $250 fine, with no jail or license suspension possible.
There are also "slow" versions of these reductions available in Lynnwood Municipal Court if handled properly by your attorney. In a "slow" reduction, you will be required to engage in certain behaviors for a period of time in order to earn the reduction.
Plea bargaining will generally be impacted by the following factors:
- The facts of your case
- The reputation of the officers involved
- The skill of your defense attorney
- Your past criminal history
- The availability of witnesses
- The prosecutor’s offices’ policies
- The amount of overcrowding in the court
Facing DUI Charges? Call (425) 224-7075
If you are facing charges for DUI, I, Attorney Lance Fryrear, can provide the aggressive advocacy you need to maximize your chances of securing a favorable outcome for your situation. Having served as a Lynnwood DUI lawyer for more than a decade and also as a prosecutor for more than seven years, I am well aware of all of the defenses that can help you with your case. To find out more about how I can assist you, contact my office or schedule a free consultation today.