• Plea bargaining application for drunken driving

Hi Team, I am not sure to the usefulness of this website nor have I used this forum ever before. But still, I will put forward my query with the hope to receive sound advise from the lawyers registered in this forum.

I was booked for drunken driving on Monday 9th Nov 2015 in Central Delhi, post which my vehicle was impounded and a challan was issued against me for drunken driving. The breath analyzer test conducted on spot gave a reading as 232 against the max prescribed limit of 30. I was asked to appear in the Patiala House Court the next day i.e 10th Nov 2015 at 10 AM in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate for Traffic. I visited the court complex the next day and hired a local advocate to prepare the necessary paperwork. I was advised by my advocate to plead guilty and request the judge to consider my request as this is a first offense in my name with no past record in any traffic rules violation. I appeared before the judge pleaded guilty and  narrated the incident and requested her for granting pardon to me and assured her to never repeat the same. The judge gave me two options - 1) license suspended for 6 months with fine imposed 2) plea bargaining for my case. She gave me 30 mins to consult with my advocate and get back to her. I consulted with the advocate and also with few other known advocates and they suggested me to go for Option 2 with the hope of getting my license back. In my mind , I re-assured myself that this is a better option and I couldn't afford getting my license suspended for so long due to personal obligations (I am married have a single car living with a single parent who isnt medically sound).  I re-appeared before the judge again and told her about my decision . She asked me to furnish a personal bond of Rs 5000 and also instructed to release my car on superdari. I followed her instructions and got the necessary paperwork prepared . She released the court order and gave a date of 16th Nov 2015 at 2 PM to appear in the office of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. I visited the court again on 16th Nov 2015 at the scheduled time slot . The said judge however didn't take my hearing and passed a vocal instruction to his assistants to get a background report from police/traffic on me and instructed me to re-appear again on 19th Dec 2015 for plea bargaining. 

Now, I am not sure what discourse this would fall into and I am not getting proper reassurance from the advocates (it seems they are okay with moving hearing date).Have I done the right thing by going with Option 2? If yes, will this case stretch for long or will be resolved in the next hearing.

I am a salaried class person with no high income and can't afford the forever court proceedings. I started my career 5 years back and am still in the growing stage in private sector. I wish to get this case resolved and get back to normal life.

Please suggest
Asked 1 year ago in Criminal Law from Delhi, Delhi
Religion: Hindu
1. The court has called a report from the concerned police station to vouchsafe that the vehicle ordered to be released is owned by you and also ascertain your criminal antecedents. This is a routine praCtice which could not have been deviated from in your case.

2. Unless a FIR was registered for rash and negligent driving it was wise to adopt option no.2. Needless to add that the state can challenge in the HC the lenient view taken by the court.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18167 Answers
449 Consultations
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1. It is of no use to think now whether you were right in choosing the option 2 or not since you have no option left now,

2. Appear before the Court on the scheduled date for plea bargaining since you have no other option left before yu now.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12131 Answers
233 Consultations
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if it is your first offence then you can compound this offence by depositing fine. plea bargaining is an option provided for the offence which could be decided by the parties on some terms. Chapter 20 A of crpc provided this option. compounding the offence through plea bargain is legal and it has legal validity under chapter 20 A of crpc.    your option is correct and don't worry. 
Shivendra Pratap Singh
Advocate, Lucknow
2760 Answers
41 Consultations
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You have already opted for the second option accordingly the case has come for hearing on trial, the police report about the case and have sought previous criminal records pending or disposed of yours and based on the report court may take a lenient view under section 253 cr.p.c. whose contents are reproduced below:

253. Conviction on plea of guilty in absence of accused in petty cases.
(1) Where a summons has been issued under section 206 and the accused desires to plead guilty to the charge without appearing before the Magistrate, he shall transmit to the Magistrate, by post or by messenger, a letter containing his plea and also the amount of fine specified in the summons.
(2) The Magistrate may, in his discretion, convict the accused in his absence, on his plea of guilty and sentence him to pay the fine specified in the summons, and the amount transmitted by the accused shall be adjusted towards that fine, or where a pleader authorised by the accused in this behalf pleads guilty on behalf of the accused, the Magistrate shall record the plea as nearly as possible in the words used by the pleader and may, in his discretion, convict the accused on such plea and sentence him as aforesaid.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14138 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
 1. Can I withdraw the 'plea bargaining' application at this stage (Refer link  http://delhicourts.nic.in/plea/BPB.html ) ? If yes, 
An application for a plea bargain can be withdrawn at any time before the disposal of the case.


(A) what is the procedure at the court to do the same ? 
The applicant may move an application either in person or through his advocate expressing his intention to withdraw the earlier decision of plea bargain.


(B) what implications would this have in my case ? Can I choose the Option 1 which was available to me by first judge (MM) ?
Once you are permitted to withdraw your plea bargaining, the court will  pass order after hearing your version in the case..



(C) Would this go back to the court of first judge (MM) ?
Yes it will revert to the jurisdictional court.


(D) Is this a wise option ? Please suggest
You have not stated that why did you choose to withdraw the said option hence without knowing the reason for the change in your decision it may not be advisable to give any answer to this question.





2. If 'withdrawal' isn't a good option, is there a way I can request for 'early hearing' of my case ? If yes, what is the procedure
  EFFECT OF CONVICTION AFTER SUCCESSFUL PLEA BARGAINING:::
If an admonition or a supervisory order is passed under the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958, then Section 12 of the said Act provides that it shall not cast any stigma on the offender.

The few more benefits of plea bargaining are 
There will be quick disposal of the pending criminal case,
The applicant will avoid the trouble of coming to the court for several hearings,
 If successful, a plea bargain will result in an amicable and mutually satisfactory disposition of the pending criminal case.

So you decide about withdrawing the decision of plea bargaining.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14138 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. Yes, you can withdraw the plea bargaining petition at any stage. File an application before the same Court hearing your plea bargaining petition for its withdrawal,

2. There will be no implication for withdrawal. You can pray for allowing you to choose option no.1,

3. It will be transferred to the 1st Judge,

4. You had stated earlier that you can not afford to get your license suspended for 6 months for personal reasons. If that is the case then why did you want to withdraw the said petition? However, you shall have to take your decision based on your requirement.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12131 Answers
233 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
You are at liberty to withdraw plea bargaining if it has not been decided yet. Make a request to the court through your lawyer. The court should allow withdrawal in your case. The application would be relegated to the MM. You can always request an expeditious hearing.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18167 Answers
449 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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