Pleading Guilty to DUI
Should I just show up and plead guilty?
Should I just plead guilty to DUI? A common question for people facing an Orange County DUI case involves pleading guilty to DUI. You certainly could just plead guilty at any time in the case.
However, because the judge is not the one prosecuting you, he or she cannot change, reduce lower, or dismiss the DUI charges only offer you, at best, the minimum punishment. You may have defenses that could make a big difference in your drunk driving case – but you would never know if you pled guilty, as at that point, you are sentenced, and your case is over. (And you may kick yourself later while attending classes, paying fees, and reviewing your insurance bill, for not fighting your DUI when you could have).
Consider this — If you plead guilty to a DUI:
- You will have a criminal record for the rest of your life if you do nothing. The way to clear that is to apply to the court for an expungement years after the conviction.
- Your driving record will contain a record of your DUI conviction and increased points. The points on your license can be used against you, to suspend your license in the future, or increase your insurance rates, for three years. The record of your DUI conviction will be on your driving record for the rest of your life (which cannot be expunged).
- Under Federal and California laws, certain licenses, including becoming a teacher, a police officer, an attorney, or a government employee may be difficult with a conviction for drunk driving.
- You will automatically lose your full driving privileges for at least four months from the DMV and the court. If you’re like most drivers in Southern California, that will have a devastating impact on your job and on your family. If you get caught driving on a suspended license you will go to jail and your car will be impounded.
- Your car insurance rates will increase many times over, and you may be canceled. A DUI requires you to file an SR-22.
- You may suffer immigration consequences from a DUI conviction if you are not a United States citizen.
- Travel outside of the United States may be more difficult with a DUI, as some countries will not admit you into their country with a conviction for DUI.
Hiring an Orange County DUI attorney that is experienced in Orange County courts, and in handling DUI cases, can help you avoid those consequences to your life, career, and driving privileges. Our firm of Orange County DUI Lawyers have handled cases in Orange County for over 23 years, and are top rated by our clients.