"We are resolving the case Friday by pleading to a wet reckless," said Ivan Golde, Lynch's attorney. "We have a strong case for trial and could win the case, but the last thing he needs is to go through a public trial.
"He's a Super Bowl champion, and he has endorsements pending. For a guy in his position, it just doesn't make any sense to go through a public trial. He has a lot at stake here. You know Marshawn. He's not a media guy. It wouldn't have been good for him to go through all that."
Lynch also will receive two years of probation as part of the plea bargain, along with a monetary fine that will be determined by the judge.
Lynch, 27, was arrested in the early morning on July 14, 2012, by the California Highway Patrol after an officer allegedly observed him driving north on Interstate 880 in Oakland weaving in and out of lanes in a Ford van and nearly colliding with two cars.
Golde said Lynch recorded a .08 blood-alcohol level on the field sobriety test, the lowest level that is above the legal limit. Golde said in December that he planned to try the case but would leave the final decision to Lynch.
"With the way the media is today, it would be tough for him to go through a trial like this,'' Golde said Thursday. "It was better to plead to the much lesser charge, which basically is an unsafe lane change."
Golde also believes that pleading to the lesser charge will enable Lynch to avoid any further penalties from the NFL.
"I can't speak for the commissioner [Roger Goodell],'' Golde said, "but my feeling is Marshawn is OK and will avoid a suspension."
Pleading to the lesser charge means Lynch will not have to attend a four-month DUI school, which is mandatory for DUI convictions in California. But he'll still need to attend six classes on driving safety and alcohol consumption.