DUI Plea Bargain in California

dui plea bargain

A plea bargain (also plea agreement, plea deal or copping a plea) is an agreement whereby the prosecutor offers the defendant the opportunity to plead guilty, usually to a lesser charge or to the original criminal charge with a recommendation of a lighter than the maximum sentence.

Plea bargain is very spread in California and the Judicial Council of California has published an optional form (containing all mandatory advisements required by federal and state law) in order to facilitate prosecutors and defense attorneys reduce such bargains into written plea agreements.

In the terms of a DUI offence, the prosecutor can propose to reduce the DUI charge from a felony to a misdemeanor, what is always god for the accused.

There is a possibility to plead guilty to reckless driving (wet-reckless driving). The charges for “wet-reckless driving” are less.

The main positive sides are:

  • no DUI conviction
  • no mandatory license suspensions
  • no mandatory DUI school
  • less or no jail time

Another possible positive outcome for the driver is to plead guilty to reckless driving (also called “dry –reckless”). In general, the defendant can be obliged to pay only a fine or sentenced to a probation, though the judge can impose the attendance of a DUI school. Unlike wet reckless, dry-reckless is not considered as a prior DUI and it does not require SR-22.

The defendant can also plead guilty to some administrative infractions like exhibition of speed or traffic infractions (i.e. speeding). In this cases, the judge can impose a fine and in some cases require some hours in a DUI school.

The Margarian Law Firm aggressively protects the rights of criminal defendants in California. If you have faced accusations of DUI, it is essential to contact an experienced California defense attorney who is will provide legal assistance. We handle every aspect of your case, from the very start through the very last court hearing, all for a flat fee agreed upon before we begin.

You may file your request online, by telephone or by mail. 818-553-1000


1.Form CR-101, Plea Form With Explanations and Waiver of Rights-Felony, Judicial Council of California.
2.Wet reckless, a dry reckless and an exhibition of speed convictions are viewed only for 7 years on driver’s record

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