The Defense Never Rests

Should you consider that plea agreement?

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2023 | Criminal Law

When facing criminal charges, the prosecution may approach you and your attorney with a plea deal. Before you accept or decline that offer, you should understand the ramifications of each decision. Plea deals are beneficial in some cases, though they come with their own complexities.

Consider the benefits and drawbacks carefully as you decide if a plea bargain is right for you.

Why should you consider a plea bargain?

Accepting a plea bargain eliminates the need for a lengthy trial. Since most trial information becomes public record, it also protects you from having personal information published for public access. Most plea bargains also reduce the charge and subsequent sentence, so you may serve less time than you would with conviction.

Why might you refuse a plea bargain?

While plea bargains have benefits, there are also some key reasons to hesitate. Accepting a plea bargain requires you to enter a guilty plea. This leaves you with a criminal record that makes your future more challenging. When the prosecutor presents the plea deal to the judge in court, the judge has the final say about its validity. Remember that, as soon as you plead guilty, the judge has discretion in your sentence and may refuse the plea agreement, sentencing you to more time than the plea deal included.

Plea deals can save you jail time and simplify the process when you face a solid case and good chance of conviction. When the case is circumstantial or you have a strong defense, you might find it beneficial to decline the deal.