DUI Plea Bargain - When Is it a Good Option? By Andrew Mishlove on March 05, 2019

A handshake by the scales of justiceIf you face operating while intoxicated (OWI)/driving under the influence (DUI) charges, the Wisconsin lawyers of Mishlove & Stuckert, LLC can help. Attorneys Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert have ensured countless people charged with drunk driving receive a fair hearing and have their rights properly represented. Our firm has helped get charges dropped and reduced.

A number of drunk driving cases involve drivers accepting plea bargains for lesser charges. You may be wondering when it’s a good idea to take a plea deal and when you should continue to fight. Our lawyers examine the basics of the these issues below.

How Plea Bargains Works

In the most basic of terms, a plea bargain involves a person pleading “guilty” or “no contest” to a lesser charge than the one that they were initially facing. An estimated 90 percent of convictions are the result of plea bargains.

Keep in mind that any plea deal is a matter of compromise. You will face easier penalties for your lesser charge, but your will still need to plea “guilty” or “no contest” to an offense.

Types of Plea Bargains

There are different kinds of plea bargains that can be made.

  • You can plead “guilty” or “no contest” to a less-serious offense than your initial charge
  • You can have one of the charges against you dropped in exchange for a “guilty” or “no contest” charge to one of your other charges
  • You can agree to plead “guilty” or “no contest” in order to reduce the severity of the charge you face

When Should I Take a Plea Bargain?

Generally speaking, you should take a plea bargain when it is in your best overall interests and the deal presents advantages over fighting your case in court. This varies from case to case and from person to person. The charges that you face and the nature of the OWI arrest will typically determine whether or not a plea deal really is to your advantage.

Do I Need to Accept a Plea Bargain?


Many prosecutors will offer defendants plea bargains in order to speed cases along through court and save time and money. Just because you are presented with a plea bargain doesn’t mean you have to take it immediately. Negotiating a better compromise is not out of the ordinary, Weigh your options, and consider the nature of the deal on the table.

Should I Continue to Fight My OWI Charge?

This depends on the OWI arrest, additional charges you may be facing, and whether or not a plea bargain that was offered is to your benefit. Sometimes the best answer is to fight your case, but other times it’s more prudent to accept a plea bargain and the reduced consequences that come with it.

How an OWI Defense Lawyer Can Help

As you can see, there are numerous factors to keep in mind when it comes to plea bargains in drunk driving cases. It’s important to have a lawyer on your side who really understands the pros and cons of any plea deal that is presented. By consulting with you attorney, you can figure out whether or not it’s a good idea to accept the compromise of a plea bargain, ask for more from the plea bargain, or whether you should continue to fight the charges presented.

Contact an Experienced Drunk Driving Attorney

To learn more about your legal rights and options when facing an OWI charge, be sure to contact our team of drunk driving defense lawyers. We at Mishlove & Stuckert, LLC are here to help. You can reach our office in Milwaukee by phone at (414) 206-6912, our Oshkosh office at (920) 212-7248, our West Bend office at (262) 239-4499, and our Waukesha office at (262) 330-1733.

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