The most interesting thing about plea-bargaining in Fulton County and everywhere else is how little focus is on the "gain" part of plea-bargaining. Most lawyers approach the prosecutor and ask, "What are you offering?" That is not bargaining. You would never buy a house that way or a car. Yet, many lawyers do not understand that plea-bargaining is a give and take.
Plea-bargaining is an essential part of almost any DUI Defense. The key is to make a presentation of your case that gives the prosecutor a reason to depart from what they normally offer. Anyone can get the standard plea offer. The best DUI Lawyer in Fulton County understands that their presentation is based on two factors.
The first factor is a proper analysis of the evidence in the case. A DUI Lawyer must independently evaluate the evidence, or lack of evidence in the case. Once a case is investigated, the attorney can then use the information as leverage when discussing the case with the prosecutor.
The second factor is entirely up to the client. I always recommend that my clients attend DUI School, perform community service, and seek alcohol and drug treatment. Clients often ask me why they should do all of the above if they are fighting their Fulton County DUI Case. The reason is that I can use all of the above is additional leverage in plea negotiations. Many prosecutors are impressed if the client appears to be taking their case seriously. In addition, in the event there is no way to win the case, the client will have had to do all of the above anyway. So, there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by having the client participate in their defense from day one.
So, the take-away here is that you cannot gain from a plea bargain unless you have something to offer. You need a full investigation of the case as well as reasons why the prosecutor would want to depart from what is normally offered. Too many lawyers show up to court with an empty file. They give opposing counsel no reason to offer anything other than the standard offer. More can be done and should be done. Your best defense in Fulton County starts with preparation from both the client and the lawyer.
In our next installment we will cover DUI Trials in Fulton County.