If you have been charged with a crime, you are likely under a lot of stress and unsure of the future. If this is your first time getting arrested, you might be extremely worried and unsure about what to expect of the criminal justice process. You have probably heard about plea deals and wonder whether you can ask for one, or how the process works. It is advisable to seek legal guidance from a reputable Brevard County attorney to assist you with your case.
What is a Plea Deal?
A plea deal is an agreement to plead guilty to a lesser charge instead of the crime with which you were originally charged. A plea deal is an offer that the state’s attorney makes and is not something you can initiate. However, in some cases, an experienced criminal attorney will discuss the case with the state’s attorney and this could result in a possible plea arrangement. A plea deal is by no means a certainty in any case. If you have an offer of a plea deal you are under no obligation to accept it. If you choose to reject the option, the matter will continue on its normal course, typically to a trial.
There are some possible advantages of accepting a plea agreement. The most significant benefit is that in most instances, the most serious charges will be removed and thus you will not face the possibility of the harshest punishments. Often, a plea deal may not require significant prison time, so you can sometimes avoid going to jail. The reduced crime will be part of your record, but it may be a better alternative to having a more serious crime as part of your record. This is particularly true when you plea down from a felony to a misdemeanor, for example.
When Will They Offer a Plea Deal?
There are a couple of circumstances in which the state’s attorney may offer a plea arrangement. One of these instances is when the state does not feel they have enough evidence to obtain a conviction for the higher charges. Sometimes there may be several charges against you and not all of them may be able to result in a conviction. A person who does not have a criminal record and is otherwise a contributing citizen of the community may be offered a plea deal.
It is important to remember that a plea deal means that you will have to plead guilty to a crime. The consequences could still include punishments such as a prison sentence, community service, probation, fines, and more. It is essential to consult with your attorney to discuss the pros and cons of accepting a plea deal. The ultimate decision is up to you and only you know how the guilty plea could impact your life and your family.
If you were charged with a crime, you will want to seek representation from an experienced Brevard County criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer will review the details of your case and work on your behalf to get the best possible results. Contact our legal team at Henderson Legal Group for an initial case consultation.