Should You Plead Guilty to a DUI?
When a person charged with a DUI chooses to plead guilty, normally, that person will be given a form to fill out requiring that they sign over most of their constitutional rights including the right to remain silent, right to a trial by jury, and the right to cross-examine witnesses. It is commonplace for the presiding judge to go over the form with the guilty party in order to avoid complications such as the defendant returning to court to claim that their conviction is null, resulting from the defendant not being properly briefed about his/ her rights. The form will also include possible punishments or consequences that have been deemed appropriate to the case.
Many times people may become confused as to what a guilty plea actually constitutes in regards to a conviction. If a person charged with a crime pleads guilty to the charge, they have then been convicted of that crime. It may be the case in which the defendant may not understand that a guilty plea is essentially equal to a conviction and is the same result as if a jury had found the defendant guilty in a trial by jury. Once the defendant pleads guilty to the charges brought against them, it can be extremely difficult to withdraw that guilty plea once it has been submitted. It is extremely important that you understand the full range of possible ramifications of a conviction and whether or not doing so is the right choice for you and your case before deciding on that option. Although, if a private attorney has examined the facts and context of your case and then suggests pleading guilty, it may indeed be the best option for your specific case.
When a person is convicted of a DUI, there are certain consequences and punishments that are most common throughout the country and continue across state lines. Every state in the US considers a DUI conviction to be a misdemeanor allowing for a jail sentence up to six months as well as hefty fines. Most states do not have a required minimum sentence for DUI convictions yet a small number of states require a minimum jail sentence of one to three days. Additionally, many states require that people convicted of a DUI must may a large amount of money to attend a “DUI school”. Although these are very common punishments for a person charged with multiple DUIs or have a past criminal record, normally the punishments are not as severe if it is a person’s first offense and the offender did not cause any injury to others. It is typical for the court to suspend the license of the driver for up to a year.
Contact an Experienced NJ DUI Attorney Today
Understanding ones options when charged with a DUI is critically important and requires detailed knowledge of specific state laws and variations, which may work in your favor if it is your first DUI conviction. It may be in your best interest to contact a knowledgeable New Jersey attorney who has years of experience dealing with DUI cases and will fight for the best possible outcome. Contact John W. Tumelty today so that we may begin your case and help get you the best results possible.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.