If you’ve faced prior DUI charges, then you may be familiar with the pros (and cons) of accepting (or rejecting) a DUI plea bargain. If it’s your first or second DUI in Massachusetts, for example, then receiving a plea bargain may lead to an alternative disposition and less-severe consequences.
However, if you’ve had multiple DUIs in the past, then you may be wondering if a DUI plea bargain is even an option to you at all. And if it is, should it be an option you consider? Or should you work with an attorney to fight the charges in court?
Let’s talk it through:
DUI Plea Bargain for a Second DUI
If you have a prior DUI charge on your record, then accepting a plea bargain may be a viable option for your second charge. If you were to plead guilty (or “admit to sufficient evidence” for a CWOF), then you might qualify for an alternative disposition. This is the most common outcome for people facing a second offense DUI in Massachusetts since many judges tend to prefer treatment over punishment.
An alternative disposition for a second DUI offender will usually include the following penalties:
- Two years of probation
- Fourteen days at an inpatient residential alcohol treatment program
- Outpatient aftercare consisting of a 30-week follow-up course, and monthly classes after, for a total of 50-52 weeks.
DUI Plea Bargain for a Third DUI
While accepting a DUI plea bargain may be a viable option for a second charge, it’s less advisable when you have multiple charges on your DUI record. Since a third DUI is considered a felony in Massachusetts, there’s a mandatory jail sentence the court will enforce even if you accept a plea deal.
By pleading guilty to a third DUI, you will have to spend anywhere from 180 days to 5 years in jail. If you’ve been charged with other serious crimes along with your third DUI, then a plea deal may be an option you want to consider. But otherwise, a DUI plea bargain will lead to an outcome that’s similar, if not identical, to the one you’d get if you lost the case outright.
Still, it is possible to make a DUI plea bargain if you have multiple DUI charges in your DUI record. However, it’s rarely the best option available to you, as DUI plea bargain statistics show that it will not lead to a lighter sentence the way it would for a first or second offense.
Fighting the Multiple DUI Charges
It’s incredibly important that you have a lawyer by your side when facing multiple DUIs. They’ll have the expertise to tell you if a plea bargain is in your interest or not, and their experience will go a long way toward helping you fight the charges in court.
An OUI or DUI charge is a serious thing, especially if you’ve multiple convictions in the past. Instead of tackling the situation on your own, reach out to a DUI attorney right away and let them work with you to build the best defense possible.