The way you handle your DUI case matters. Two people with similar cases could end up with shockingly different penalties all because of how they approach their situations. In most cases, people settle outside of court regardless of the case’s facts. However, the deal you walk away with could be very different depending on what you do to protect yourself.

To start with, remember that everyone’s case is going to be different. One person might get stopped with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent and walk away with no charges, while another person could be pulled over at .08 percent and have several penalties to deal with. Part of how that happens comes down to whether or not you fight the charges. Plea deals are normal in DUI cases, but if you have a good reason to question the results of a breath test or the reason an officer pulled you over, it’s possible to have the case dismissed. If there’s a good reason to fight the case, going to trial could be a better option than taking a plea.

On the other hand, if you’re guilty of a DUI and have no way to question the evidence, you may want to take a plea. If your BAC is close to the legal limit, there’s a higher likelihood that your attorney can work out a positive deal for you. Sometimes, it’s possible to have a charge lowered to reckless driving instead of a DUI, which affects you less severely than a DUI would. Our site has more on what to do if you’re facing a DUI charge.