Q: If you plead guilty to a DUI are the penalties less severe?
A: It is possible that the penalties may be less severe.
If you plead guilty via a plea agreement, you will know what your penalty will be prior to sentencing, as long as the judge accepts the plea agreement.
If you do not accept a plea agreement, and go to trial and are found guilty, the State may ask for a harsher penalty than it offered in the plea agreement since it had to undergo the time and expense of a trial to prove your guilt.
But ultimately, it is up to the judge to decide your sentence if you are found guilty. The judge will take into account the State recommendations re sentencing, your attorney's recommendations re sentencing, the aggravating and mitigating circumstances and the sentencing guidelines.
Andrew L. Bennett agrees with this answer
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