Should I just show up and plead guilty?
You certainly could. 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. (And you may kick yourself later while attending classes, paying fees, and reviewing your insurance bill, for not fighting your DUIwhen you could have).
Also consider this — If you plead guilty:
- You will have a criminal record for the rest of your life if you do nothing.
- Your driving record will contain a DUI record and increased points for the rest of your life (which cannot be expunged), and will affect you.
- Under Federal and California laws, becoming a teacher, a police officer, an attorney, or a government employee may be next to impossible if you get 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 Southern California, that will have a devastating impact on your job and on your family. If you get caught driving while suspended you will go to jail and your car will be impounded.
- Your car insurance rates will increase many times over, and you may be cancelled if your rates don’t rise out of sight.
- You may suffer immigration consequences if you are not a United States citizen.