Going to Court or Plea Bargaining

A Hard Decision That Only Your Lawyer Can Help You With

According to the Canada Criminal Code, the legal right of anyone accused in a criminal case is to be considered innocent until proven guilty. DUI cases are no exceptions: it is the duty of the prosecution to prove that the defendant is guilty of the charges brought against him or her.

Don’t Forget about the Foundation of Criminal Law: You Are Always Innocent Until Proven Guilty

In many cases, the person charged with a DUI pleads guilty without even trying to challenge the procedure he or she was subjected to or to demonstrate innocence, so it is very important to be familiar with the general principles that govern the Criminal Code before deciding how to plead.

In a DUI case, the prosecutor must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond any reasonable doubt and it is the defendant’s duty to present the circumstances that cast reasonable doubt regarding the testing or any other part of the procedure. As laying down all these arguments in a convincing manner can be very difficult, the best you can do in such a situation is to hire a qualified DUI lawyer to defend you from the very beginning.

How Your Lawyer Will Proceed

Your DUI lawyer will first of all analyze your case and will help you decide how to plead: guilty or not guilty.

If you plead not guilty, your lawyer will continue by collecting any argument and evidence that can be possibly used in your defense.

A DUI case is a fight between two opponents, the prosecution and the defense, both parties trying to convince the other one to modify the charges in one direction or the other.

One of the most important arguments used by the prosecutor will be that you have failed the breath test or the blood test. However scientific and accurate test results may seem, most of the time they are not. Breathalyzers have returned false positive results in many cases when the person charged with DUI wasn’t anywhere near alcoholic beverages, so your lawyer will proceed by trying to question the accuracy of the test results. In case this argument fails, your lawyer will try to find other circumstances that can be used to prove your innocence.

If there is any convincing evidence that you are innocent or there is evidence of procedural errors, the case will end with dismissed charges, but you should not lose hope if there is no such evidence, because, then, you still have the option to plead guilty and obtain a plea bargain.

What Is Plea Bargaining – Plea Bargain Definition

According to the plea bargaining definition, it is an agreement between a Crown prosecutor and the defendant in terms of which the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser offense than the original charges and in return he or she obtains some kind of concession from the prosecution. The concession can take the form of a reduced charge or a reduced sentence.

Plea Bargaining – Where to Begin

 

A plea bargain has many advantages:

– As a result of the bargain, the defendant can be offered milder punishment than the one proposed by the prosecutor if the case appears in front of a court.

– The defendant can be offered a milder charge, which also means having a less serious offense in his or her criminal record, with milder consequences on other aspects of life like employment.

– It is possible to get a less severe charge and a milder punishment at the same time.

– It is a very expedient solution that makes the entire process end much sooner than taking the case before a court.

Why Do You Need a Lawyer in Plea Bargaining?

It is absolutely necessary to have a professional negotiator by your side in this phase:

– Your lawyer is familiar with every detail of the applicable law.

– He or she knows the system inside out.

– Prosecutors willingly enter such a plea bargaining agreement, especially if they are aware that there are weak points in their case, but this does not make plea bargaining any easier.

– Lawyers are familiar not only with the laws applicable in your case, but also with the way prosecutors think and work and this is a significant advantage that should never be disregarded.

If you are to win your DUI case or to obtain a sentence as favorable as possible, you need to have extensive legal knowledge, very serious negotiation skills and an intricate knowledge of the legal system and of the people working in the system, too – in other words, you need a lawyer.

Even though you are innocent until proven guilty, you need the best representation possible whether you fight for your case in a court trial or you obtain a favorable closure by plea bargaining.

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