Should you accept that plea bargain?
Plea bargains provide an avenue for the settlement of a criminal charge without the spectacle of a trial. When you face criminal charges, you might receive an offer from the prosecution for a plea deal. Most plea deals offer a reduced sentence or lesser charge in exchange for your guilty plea.
Consider that plea offer and the ramifications of your decision carefully before you accept or refuse it.
Should you accept a plea bargain?
You may believe that prosecutors only offer a plea bargain when their case is weak or circumstantial. That often leads people to decline a plea offer on the belief that they can win the case. Prosecutors offer plea deals for many reasons, including an effort to save court time and resources or to reduce their litigation expenses. Consider the evidence the prosecution has and the substance of the offer as you make your decision.
Should you reject a plea bargain?
You may not realize that the plea bargain process requires a guilty plea, which gives you a criminal record. A criminal record disrupts many aspects of your future, even without jail time. If you have a strong case, fight it in court instead. Consider the strength of your defense carefully, including your alibi and any corroborating witnesses or evidence as you weigh the potential for acquittal.
Plea bargains can settle your case quickly and with lesser charges in many cases. That does not guarantee that a plea is your best choice. Weigh your options carefully based on the evidence and your potential consequences. When making such significant decisions, it is helpful to talk with an experienced attorney. For more information, check out our page about criminal law.