When a person is charged with a crime, they may face two major options as a defendant. The first is to fight the charges and work to have these allegations dismissed by the court. The second is to enter a particular plea in hopes of having sentencing reduced either by the decision of the court or through a plea bargain with the prosecution. These plea bargains may offer defendants the opportunity to have some of the more serious penalties associated with their criminal trial reduced or removed altogether. However, these bargains may not always be the right action for a defendant’s case.
The Benefits of a Plea Bargain
Although plea bargains cannot strict fix sentencing, they may be able to have prosecutors push for leniency in sentencing with the court or downgrade the charges a person is facing. If these charges are dropped down to a lesser allegation, there may be fewer minimum sentencing guidelines that can severely punish a defendant if convicted. Depending on how the prosecution reacts to a plea bargain, these agreements may significantly reduce punishments for a defendant.
The Problems with a Plea Bargain
Although plea bargains can end a case quickly and potentially push for better sentencing for a defendant, they are far from perfect. They won’t result in all charges being dropped, as may be possible if a person fights under a not guilty verdict. Also, a plea bargain won’t necessarily guarantee any form of sentencing. The courts are still free to establish various penalties as they see fit.
Should You Accept a Plea Bargain?
In short, you may want to speak with a legal advisor before moving forward with a plea bargain offer from the prosecution. To learn more about plea bargains and how they specifically could work in your case, contact a criminal defense lawyer.
Defending yourself in a court of law is overwhelming to say the least, and you don’t want to bet your future on whether you can articulate your defense to the correct specifications of the court. In cases like these, the best option may be to hire a criminal defense lawyer.