Being charged with a crime is a scary and overwhelming situation. Regardless of the charge, there are several important decisions you must make.
Sometimes, the prosecution for your case may offer a plea bargain. Usually, the plea bargain comes with a lesser charge, which reduces the potential penalties for the crime, although plea deals can also come with a reduced sentence, instead. There are stipulations to accepting the plea agreement, which usually includes entering a guilty plea.
In situations where the prosecution has significant evidence against you, accepting a plea bargain can be a good idea – but it’s not for everyone. Here, you can learn more about plea bargains and when they could be a smart move.
Should you go to trial?
Plea bargains have some upsides. For example, you have more control over the case’s outcome and know what to expect. It can get you through the situation quickly, which may have some value to you.
However, plea deals come with some huge drawbacks you have to consider. Depending on the charges you face, you may lose your license, not be allowed to own a firearm and face jail time. You may also lose your job and future job opportunities – and you’re going to carry that conviction with you potentially forever.
It’s never wise to jump to accept or reject a plea deal. It’s the kind of decision you need to make only after you fully understand the potential consequences of each decision. You also need to know if there’s any bargaining room, since the prosecution’s first offer may not be their best offer. That’s something that’s best explored with your defense team.
If you have been charged with a crime, don’t hesitate to seek experienced legal guidance before you make any hard decisions.