Question: Why would an innocent person plead guilty to a DUI/DWI charge in Maryland?
Answer: Well, oftentimes the state will have the information it needs to prove a charge. So, if one was to go to court and try the case if the defendant and his lawyer are aware that the state has sufficient evidence to prove the case on the one hand, and yet they are offering a plea arrangement that is favorable to a defendant driver, he may choose to plead guilty as a lesser evil. So, for example, I mean, if one was a diabetic say.
Or maybe a better version would be if one took some medication that was prescribed to them to take, yet that medication had impairing side effects, a person might plead to a DUI or a DWI charge in exchange for probation before a judgment type of a verdict as opposed to a trial in the case, which could have more dire consequences. In that particular case, potentially pleading may be a better avenue. In that case, that person probably technically may be guilty of impairment anyway because driving after taking medications that the driver should have known would have been impairing to the person, that can still result—and rightfully so—in a DUI charge.
Conversely, after having said that, if a person is truly innocent and there is some other viable explanation for the impairment-like behavior, then potentially pleading guilty would not be the correct avenue to take in such a case. But to answer the question why an innocent person would plead guilty, one has to assume that there is sufficient, well beyond sufficient evidence to prove the charge without much mitigating defenses. And if that’s the case, one may consider that course of action as being the safest course of action to get out of the court as least scathed as possible.