Criminal charges are often serious and if convicted, you could face a multitude of penalties that may include jail time, fines, community service, and more. In addition, you will have a blemish on your record that could prevent you from getting employment or finding an apartment. With so much as stake, it is important to understand what a plea bargain is and how it may be able to help you with your particular case.
What is a Plea Bargain?
A plea bargain is a negotiation to resolve criminal charges without going to trial. Plea negotiations are a major part of the criminal justice system and are essential to keeping the wheels of justice moving at a regular pace. It is important to negotiate a plea bargain with help from your Brevard County criminal defense attorney.
There are two main types of plea bargains including a charge bargain and a sentence bargain. A charge plea bargain is when you agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge and in exchange the more serious charge will be dropped. A sentence bargain occurs when you are told of what the sentence will be if you plead guilty. Both are important and may be used in particular types of circumstances.
Understand the Deal Before You Agree
When you agree to a plea deal ,you are essentially waiving some of your rights. For example, if you agree to accept a charge bargain for one charge it means that you will waive your right to a trial. A plea deal may be necessary for a prosecutor when they feel they do not have enough evidence for a solid conviction. Therefore, it is always best to have your attorney review your case before you make any type of plea deal decision.
Many times, defendants are overcharged. This means that you could be facing several charges for one crime. The prosecutor then has the ability to drop some charges so you will plead guilty to the lesser charges in a plea arrangement.
Talk to an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
The court system is often overworked, and there are many more cases on the books than can be resolved in a hearing or trial in a reasonable length of time. Plea bargains are one way to help the system. However, at the same time, you need to be aware of when it is best to take a plea deal and when it is not in your best interest.
For instance, if the evidence against you is weak or if there was a problem with the way some of the evidence was gathered, your attorney may be able to suppress it during trial. This could make it difficult for the state to win their case. It might be more advantageous to try to achieve a not guilty verdict instead. Keep in mind that whenever you go to trial, the results are not guaranteed, so anything could happen.
It is best to understand the options that are available to you with a plea deal. Talk to your attorney and make sure that you know the advantages and disadvantages and possible outcome before you decide. If you are facing criminal charges, we can help. Contact our legal team at Henderson Legal Group today.