Entering a plea of guilt for driving under the influence (DUI) of drug has many advantages.
The case is terminated immediately so you don’t have to go back to court again. It is cheaper because you can do it yourself without a lawyer. It is easier because you don’t have to defend yourself against the charge.
Here are some tips to make pleading guilty easier for you:
Decide whether to get a lawyer or not
In your DUI Drug case you have the option to hire a lawyer, avail of free legal aid if there are any, or represent yourself in court. Inform the court officer if you are representing yourself and you intend to plead guilty.
Read about DUI drug cases
You should know that there are certain factors that will affect how the court will sentence you. Some of these factors are:
- Your history of drug use;
- Your criminal and traffic history;
- If you endangered other people with your driving;
- How long you drove under the influence;
- The reason why you were driving.
Know the charge against you
It is important that when you enter a plea of guilt you do so knowingly and willingly. The prosecution will be giving you documents that state the charges against you, your criminal and traffic record. Check if the statements are accurate because these will affect the penalties that will be imposed on you.
Have your character references ready
You will be handing over to the court these references that attest to your good behaviour.
Prepare what you have to say in court
You can either make oral manifestations or make a written statement. Even if you are pleading guilty do your best to convince the court that only the minimum or barest of penalties should be imposed in your case. Tell the court if you need your license for your employment. Implore the court that if you lose your license you will have a hard time to financially support your family. Inform the court that you are not at risk for committing another traffic offence.
Come to court early and observe
Needless to say, don’t drive to court if you were placed on a temporary disqualification. Come in early and observe what is happening there. Look at how other defendants plead guilty and how they ask the court for a lesser penalty.
Don’t speak unless asked to or when it is time to plead guilty. Be courteous when addressing the court. If you are nervous about speaking in court just give your written statement to the magistrate.
Listen carefully during the sentencing
You will receive a written copy of the sentence. If there is something you don’t understand then ask the magistrate to explain. Do not argue with the court if you do not approve of the sentence. The proper remedy is to file an appeal.
Explore the court’s drug rehabilitation program
The Magistrates Early Referral Into Treatment Program is a voluntary rehabilitation program which DUI drug defendants can participate in for 12 weeks. If you ask the court for a referral to the program the hearing of your case will be suspended until the program’s completion. Your good progress in the program will be to your advantage when the court sentences you.
Speak to a traffic lawyer if you have been charged with driving under the influence before or if you have been found guilty of a drug or drink driving offence before.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.