What is a Plea Deal and can I Get One?

If you have been charged with a crime, you may be unsure of what to expect with the legal process. You probably have many questions and are not sure what the future holds. Depending on the charges, you may be eligible for a plea agreement. A plea agreement, also known as a plea deal, is an agreement to reduce the defendant’s punishment, often by reducing the charges or through reduced sentences. In return, the defendant must typically plead guilty to a lesser charge. In some cases, you may get a plea deal in exchange for testimony in a case against another defendant.

What are the Benefits of a Plea Deal?

There are several potential benefits to a plea deal. The most significant advantage is that you will be able to plead guilty to lesser charges, so you will not have the most serious charges on your record. This can be particularly important when the initial charges are major or carry extensive penalties. Importantly, a plea bargain allows you to control your own destiny rather than leaving your future to a jury or judge. You do not have to accept a plea deal that they offer to you. If you reject a plea deal you will face the original charges and the case will continue to trial. Before you accept or reject a plea deal, you should discuss the matter with your criminal defense attorney.

Can I Get a Plea Deal?

Not every person who is charged with a crime will get a plea deal offer. The plea agreement is generally used in circumstances in which the prosecutor might not have enough evidence to ensure a victory or when there were too many or too severe of charges in the first place. The prosecutor can free up time for more important cases by utilizing plea deals. A plea agreement is something that typically occurs between your defense attorney and the state’s attorney. If you have a skilled criminal defense attorney in Brevard County, you may be more likely to achieve a plea bargain. Keep in mind that a plea deal will still come with consequences. You may still owe fines, may have to complete a jail sentence, and probation.

Most Criminal Cases End with Plea Agreements

According to the Bureau of Justice Assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice, an overwhelming majority of cases (about 90 to 95%) result in a plea bargain. This occurs for a number of reasons. The judicial system is bogged down with an excessive number of cases. It can take too long for cases to be brought to trial and the entire system is at maximum capacity. When the prosecutor sees a crime that is relatively minor, or when the defendant has no prior criminal record, he is more inclined to opt for a plea agreement rather than force the case through the justice system. You may be able to get a plea deal with help from your Brevard County criminal defense attorney. Contact Henderson Legal Group for a consultation to discuss the details of your case.  

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