What It Means To Accept The Prosecutor's Plea Bargain


When under arrest, many people go into full panic mode. This combination of fear, stress, and anxiety creates a condition where they are willing to do almost anything just to make the situation go away. At the first visit to the judge, they will likely receive an offer of reduced charges or fees if they plead guilty.

Should You Accept a Plea Bargain

Pleading guilty doesn't mean that you are guilty. However, plea bargains almost always require that you plead guilty. For example, a felony larceny charge can come with some prison time if you're guilty. The prosecutor may offer to drop the charge to shoplifting, a misdemeanor, which can come with a far less severe penalty. All you have to do is plead guilty.

If you plead guilty to the lesser charge, it can help both you and the court. It helps you by,

  • Giving you less to worry about
  • Getting the process over with quickly
  • Getting you out of jail
  • Keeping your record free of serious crime

In turn, your guilty plea helps the court by,

  • Moving the process along
  • Alleviating jail and prison congestion
  • Sparing court resources

But if you do plead guilty, that charge is most certainly going on your record. In some cases, the prosecutor can offer to expunge the charge after a certain amount of time, but that's not a given.

In addition, there's no guarantee that the judge will fully honor the plea bargain. Depending on where you're at, a plea bargain represents a suggestion. Usually, the judge will accept it, but that's not true of every case.

Plea Bargains Are Negotiable

Accepting a plea bargain is often the best thing that you can do given your circumstances. Although, it's important to remember that plea bargains are negotiable. Sometimes the plea bargain can take the form of an offer and counteroffer situation.

This is where it helps to have a criminal defense attorney on your side. Public defenders are notorious for telling you to accept the bargain, but an experienced attorney has a better chance of working out a more favorable bargain on your behalf.

Plea bargains aren't bad, in fact, they can sometimes work far better for you than if you plead innocent and go to trial. You just have to make sure the deal offered in the plea bargain is an actual deal and not something that can later hamper your life. The only way to make sure is with an experienced attorney. To learn more about the law, contact someone like Novak Lee Atty At Law.


5 May 2015

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