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Plea agreements for reduction of DUI charges

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2024 | CRIMINAL LAW - Drunk Driving

When a Maryland police officer makes a suspected drunk driving arrest, the driver in question will be faced with numerous legal processes in the days, weeks, or perhaps months that follow the incident. An arrest does not necessarily mean there will be a conviction. In certain circumstances, an accused individual may be able to enter a plea agreement that results in a reduction of charges from DUI to a lesser offense. 

A DUI conviction in Maryland remains on a person’s criminal record for five to 10 years. A conviction also results in points against an individual’s driving record, which will remain in effect for several years, as well. It is within a person’s best interests, then, to argue for a reduction of charges if certain elements are relevant to a particular case. 

No past DUI convictions, plus other helpful evidence 

Prosecutors are not likely to accept a plea agreement for a reduction of DUI charges if the accused individual has had one or more drunk driving convictions in the past. If a person’s record is clear, however, a prosecutor might agree to accept a guilty plea for a lesser offense, such as reckless driving. Other evidence that works in a driver’s favor for a plea agreement includes blood alcohol content (BAC) test results close to the legal limit, as well as the absence of a collision or injuries.  

If someone accused of DUI in Maryland can show that evidence was mishandled or that a personal rights violation took place leading up to, during or following the arrest, the prosecutor might be willing to accept a plea agreement to reduce charges; in fact, such issues may even lead to a case dismissal. In any event, it is always best to secure legal support as soon as an arrest has taken place because a criminal defense attorney understands the system and can recommend the best course of action.