In light of Schaumberg District 54 Superintendent Andrew DuRoss' recent DUI arrest, Chicago residents may be wondering if it would be beneficial to him or themselves to plead guilty in a DUI case.
Being a public figure, like a superintendent, could result in people learning a little too much about you in an open trial. So it may be in some public figures' best interests to plead guilty.
For everyone else, here's five reasons why you should consider pleading guilty in a DUI case:
1. Better chance of receiving probation. By pleading guilty, you may be able to strike a plea bargain with the prosecutor. A plea bargain usually results in the criminal pleading guilty to a lesser charge and in return, there won't be a trial and he or she may receive a lighter sentence. For first time DUI offenders, a prosecutor may give you probation instead of jail time if you plead guilty, but you may face the maximum punishment if you take your case to trial.
2. Opens options for lesser charges. Like receiving probation in a plea bargain, pleading guilty may open the doors for other lesser charges. This can be particularly helpful if a person has more than one DUI conviction and is facing vehicle confiscation or a long-term license suspension.
3. Possibility of more lenient sentences. A guilty plea may also demonstrate a person's remorse or regret when it comes to the drunken driving allegations. Those factors can be considered by a judge when it comes to sentencing. Sometimes, when a criminal is genuinely sorry for their poor decisions, the court may choose to implement a more lenient punishment.
4. Publicity issues. Similar to public figures like Superintendent DuRoss or a correctional facility guard, publicity about an upcoming DUI trial could hurt a person's reputation. In fact, pleading guilty may actually buoy a person's image when under scrutiny. According to the Chicago Tribune, Schaumburg school board president Bill Harper considers DuRoss to be a "quality person" for admitting his mistakes. Even private figures' reputations can be injured if personal facts are revealed at trial. Pleading guilty can cast you as owning your mistakes and protect your dirty laundry from being aired at in public court.
5. Your attorney advises you to do so. Consulting a DUI attorney can help you get the best outcome for your case. When working with an attorney, be upfront with the facts of your case, even if they're morally questionable or embarrassing, because she can provide the best guidance for how to handle your case -- even when a guilty plea may be in your best interests.
Although pleading guilty to a DUI can work in your favor, you shouldn't feel pressured to do so if you genuinely believe that you're innocent.
- Schaumburg superintendent charged with DUI; Andrew DuRoss of Schaumburg Elementary School pulled over in Naperville (Chicago's WLS-TV)
- What Does 'Wet Reckless' Mean in a DUI Case? (FindLaw's Blotter)
- How to Withdraw a Guilty Plea (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Can You Fight DUI License Suspension? (FindLaw's Chicago DUI Blog)