If you are facing criminal charges, it can be a stressful and overwhelming situation. When you are in this position, you have several decisions to make.
An important one is the plea you plan to enter. Some choose to enter a “not guilty” plea at first and then change that decision as the case moves forward. Another option is to consider a plea deal offered by the prosecution.
Going to trial for a criminal charge leaves the decision of if you are guilty or not in the hands of the court. With a plea bargain, you will know your consequences and the outcome of your case.
A plea deal also gives a little more control over the situation. In most cases, the consequences offered in a plea bargain are much less severe than what you would receive if convicted of a crime when you go to court.
Most prosecutors are stretched thin with multiple cases. A plea bargain helps them save time by avoiding a trial. When they offer a plea bargain, it’s possible to reduce the congestion on the court docket, which helps things move along.
Plea deals are helping reduce cases of prison overcrowding, too. That’s because many prosecutors offer probation or other types of programs rather than jail time. If jail time is included in the plea bargain, it’s typically a shorter sentence than what would be handed down in court if found guilty.
It’s up to you whether you want to accept a plea bargain. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you best consider all possibilities and outcomes to determine if this is the best option for your situation.