Today, R. Hermann Heimgartner was able to get a plea deal for a client to reduce a DUI charge to a Reckless Driving with a deferral. Let him explain the benefits of such a deal:
In Hawaii, DUIs are technically called Operating Vehicle Under The Influence Of An Intoxicant (OVUII). A first time DUI is a petty misdemeanor in Hawaii, but there are several dire consequences, including the fact that a DUI conviction will be on a person’s public criminal record FOREVER.
For many criminal offenses in Hawaii, including many felony offenses, a person can use a one-time deferred plea (aka DAG/DANC plea). However, a DAG/DANC cannot be used for any offense that is non-probational. DUIs are non-probational. Also, Excessive Speeding charges are also non-probational. As such, a plea deal involving a person pleading guilty or no contest to a DUI will result in a permanent criminal record.
Deferrals are allowed for Reckless Driving charges. So, if the State/prosecutor can be convinced to amend a DUI to a Reckless Driving, then a person becomes eligible for a deferral.
The fact of life is that the State/prosecutor is very reluctant to amend a DUI charge to a Reckless Driving because the State/prosecutor want to nail as many people as possible for DUIs. The State/prosecutor will only amend a DUI to a Reckless Driving if there is a serious defect in their case. That’s why it is important to hire (and pay the big bucks) for an experienced DUI defense attorney…like me.