Should You Accept a Plea Bargain?
5 years ago by Justin M. Schiks
If you are someone who enjoys watching courtroom TV dramas, you might be inclined to think that the great majority of criminal matters go to trial and a jury decides the accused’s fate. However, many criminal matters never see a courtroom. In these cases, the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney make some sort of deal – usually by way of a plea agreement or plea bargain.
A plea bargain can occur at any stage of the criminal proceedings. In some instances, it makes sense to accept a plea deal, while at other times, it might be worth rolling the dice and taking the matter to trial. The knowledgeable Woodbury criminal defense lawyers JS Defense, PA. can review your legal matter with you and help you decide whether you should accept a pending plea deal. Give us a call today at (651) 968-9652 or contact us online to find out how we could help.
What are Plea Bargains?
In a plea bargain, the accused agrees that he or she will plead guilty to one, some, or all of the criminal charges which are pending against him or her. In exchange, the prosecuting attorney may reduce the pending charge or charges, drop the charges which remain, or request that the sentencing judge in the case impose a more lenient penalty.
Under some plea bargain agreements, the accused might enter a “no contest” or a “nolo contendre” plea. When the accused makes a plea of this nature, he or she is not denying the pending charge or admitting it. Rather, he or she is accepting the penalty for the charge knowing that the prosecutor has sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.
Factors to Consider
The potential benefits and detriments of a plea bargain depend largely upon the facts and circumstances of your criminal case. There are several factors that you should consider when it comes to deciding whether or not to accept a pending plea bargain, including the following:
- The weight of the evidence against you – In some cases, the prosecutor may not have strong enough evidence against you, in which case it might be better to request a better plea deal or take the case to trial and try to obtain a dismissal of the charge.
- The consequences of pleading guilty – If you enter into a plea deal, you are essentially pleading guilty to one or more of your charges, and this guilty plea will go on your criminal record. Consequently, you could lose several privileges, including your right to own firearms and your right to vote.
- Future rights – By entering into a plea agreement, you could lose the right to appeal.
Call an Experienced Woodbury Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If the prosecutor in your criminal case has offered you a plea deal, the experienced attorneys at JS Defense, PA. can help you weigh the pros and cons. To schedule a free consultation or case evaluation with a Woodbury criminal defense lawyer, give us a call today at (651) 968-9652 or contact us online.