Anti-Plea Bargaining Laws
Millions of traffic violations are processed through the court system in the United States each year.
Plea-bargaining and other programs like deferred prosecution and probation are ways to reduce the burden on the state and local court systems.
- A plea bargain is any agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant where the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a particular charge in return for some concession from the prosecutor. Typically, this means the defendant will plead guilty to a less serious charge, or to one of several charges in return for the dismissal of some charges. A plea bargain allows both parties to avoid a trial and may allow defendants to avoid the risk of conviction at trial on a more serious charge.
Diversion programs defer sentencing while a DWI offender participates in some form of alcohol education or treatment. In most circumstances, the charges are dropped or the offender’s DWI record is erased after the education or treatment is completed satisfactorily. Source: CDC, 2015.
In drunk driving cases, some states have enacted laws that prohibit or limit how a case can be pleaded or deferred because they do not want offenders to be able to eliminate any record of a DUI offense or have their penalties reduced.
The following table has information on which states have prohibitions or limitations on the anti-plea bargaining laws and other laws related to impaired driving.
The box allows you to conduct a full text search or type the state name.
Source: NHTSA Digest of Impaired Driving and Selected Beverage Control Laws (current as of Dec. 21, 2013); NCSL 2015