Arraignments are typically quick for DUI charges, but your decisions during the proceeding can impact the rest of your case. When you are arraigned, you may plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Discussing your options with a lawyer is crucial to determine a strategy that minimizes the impact of the charges on your life.
Pleading guilty to DUI charges in Shelton can be beneficial in some cases. Talk to Ruane Attorneys about your situation and get the legal counsel you need to make informed decisions about your defense strategy.
Types of Pleas in an Intoxicated Driving Case
There are three pleas a defendant may make during a criminal arraignment, including one for DUI charges: guilty, not guilty, and no contest.
Entering a guilty plea means the defendant admits the state’s allegations are true. In a DUI case, it means that they were operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. After pleading guilty to a first-offense DUI, the defendant would be subject to misdemeanor court penalties.
The other type of guilty plea is called an Alford, based on the case of North Carolina vs. Alford. Here, the defendant can plead guilty not because they admit some or all of the state’s allegations but because they want to take advantage of a proposed disposition of the case. This could be a better offer than the prospect of losing at trial. Our Shelton attorneys can further explain this option for pleading guilty to DUI charges.
Pleading Not Guilty
The defendant may also plead “not guilty,” after which the case will proceed for discussion. The court will set a trial date if the defendant insists on pleading not guilty after discussion.
No Contest Plea
The third kind of plea is a no contest or nolo contendere. This option is available in all DUI cases in Connecticut. No contest means the defendant does not wish to contest the charge.
Although this automatically leads to a finding of guilty, the defendant does not admit to the state’s allegations. This can be beneficial if a civil case is pending against the defendant, as the no contest plea will not be admissible in the civil case.
Should I Plead Guilty to DUI Charges?
If the resolution of the case is favorable to the defendant and the defense attorney believes the prosecution can prove the DUI charges, pleading guilty may be the right option. Losing at trial means the judge can impose any penalty up to the statutory maximum. If the person pleads guilty based on a plea agreement, the judge must honor the plea agreement. This could help the defendant avoid jail time and other harsh consequences.
The lawyers at our Shelton office can help determine whether pleading guilty at arraignment is beneficial in a specific DUI case. We could work to get probation rather than jail time, especially for first-time offenders.
Contact a Shelton Lawyer to Discuss Guilty Pleas in DUI Cases
Consulting an attorney should always be a top priority after an arrest for alleged driving under the influence. Do not speak to the police or make any admissions of guilt before you secure legal counsel.
A lawyer can help you decide whether pleading guilty to DUI charges in Shelton is in your best interests. Call Ruane Attorneys today to review your situation and learn your options for moving forward with your life.