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DWI Plea Bargains vs. Punishment if Found Guilty

I have been recently asked:

You stated: "You will receive almost identical punishment if you are found guilty
after trial."

If one is found Guilty, is the punishment generally the same as was
offered in the plea bargain, or generally the full penalty?

While I can never predict the future, no judge in the counties I practice in will ever assess a maximum punishment for a first time DWI offender with no history. Standard "plea bargain" punishment before trial, or after trial are almost always the same. Between 1 and 2 years probation, a fine between $300-$800, 24-40 hours of community service, and alcohol awareness courses.

Because of the getting generally same punishment given even if you lose at trial, many charged (when represented by competent DWI counsel), will opt for a trial, knowing there is very little to lose. If you plea guilty you have a 100% chance of being convicted for life. If you plea not guilty, you at least have some chance of keeping your record clean. Depending on the facts of your case, of course, your chances go up or down.

PS. I tried to respond to the sender of this question, but was unable to reply to the email address given. If you need assistance with a case, feel free to call me at 469-252-4018.

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