Should You Take a Plea Deal?
3 years ago by Justin M. Schiks
Unlike some other countries, the justice system in the U.S. states that all defendants charged with a crime are presumed innocent until they are found guilty in a court of law. Merely being arrested does not necessarily mean the court will convict you of a crime. You are entitled to due process. However, you could be convicted in one of two ways.
First, a judge or a jury could find you guilty after a trial. Second, you could elect to plead guilty to the crime. You have the choice to receive a trial by your peers or to plead guilty, and you should never be coerced by anyone into either decision. Although pleading guilty might seem like the quickest way out of your predicament, you should never do so without first consulting with a knowledgeable Woodbury criminal defense lawyer.
Understanding a Plea Deal
It is essential that you fully understand what a plea deal is before agreeing to one. They may also be referred to as plea agreements or plea bargains. No matter what terminology is used, this is an agreement between the prosecutor assigned to your case and your Woodbury criminal defense attorney. To assist in a plea deal for their clients, defense attorneys often point out weaknesses in the state’s case against you and make them aware of other factors that could make the case end in your favor.
You agree to plead guilty to a crime, and in return, you avoid a trial and face lesser consequences than if you were convicted. Some plea deals involve dropping some charges if you are charged with multiple crimes, reducing the type of charges that will go on your record, and recommending a lesser sentence to the judge, which means you could get probation in lieu of serving time in jail.
Is a Plea Deal Right for You?
Although a plea deal may seem like the perfect solution to your legal predicament, there are several factors that your Woodbury criminal defense lawyer should bring to your attention. These factors might change your mind. Pleading guilty and having a criminal record could cause:
- Immigration problems if you are a non-citizen
- Challenges for your employment and career
- Required registration as a sex offender, depending on your crime
- Being disqualified for some government benefits
- Decreased eligibility for some rental housing
Unsure of Your Next Steps? Call an Experienced Woodbury Criminal Defense Lawyer
Your options after being charged with a crime are often confusing. Most people do not have the legal knowledge to understand how their choices now will impact them in the future.
We serve clients in the areas of St. Paul, Woodbury, Roseville, Maplewood, White Bear Lake, Mendota Heights, Oakdale, Stillwater, Eagan, Inver Grove Heights, and Cottage Grove. For your convenience, our attorneys can meet with you in jail, in the hospital, or in our Minneapolis or Woodbury offices.
Having a seasoned attorney on your side can help ensure you make the right decision in your case. Schedule your case consultation today with a Woodbury criminal defense attorney from JS Defense, PA, by calling (651) 968-9652 or complete our online contact form.