Can I Get a Plea Deal?

If you keep up with the news you’re likely aware of hearing about plea deals in various criminal cases. A plea deal is an agreement between the defendant and the prosecutor that allows lesser charges in return for a guilty plea. A plea deal is sometimes available but it’s important to have an attorney review your case before thinking about any such deal. Plea deals aren’t offered in every case and are usually only struck between a defendant’s attorney and the prosecuting attorney when there is the possibility of compromise. If the prosecutor has an ironclad case against you the prosecutor usually won’t want to consider a plea deal. If, on the other hand, there is some conflicting evidence or lack of evidence, there is a good chance a plea deal may be in the offing.

How to Negotiate a Plea Deal

A plea bargain is typically negotiated between attorneys so it’s wise to choose a criminal attorney with experience. There are many reasons why a prosecutor may be agreeable to a plea deal. Cases that go to trial can be time consuming and expensive. When the defendant has a clean record or the crime is minor, the prosecutor will often decide to resolve the case quickly and easily by offering a plea deal. It is interesting to note that in Florida as many as 92% of criminal cases are resolved without going to trial. Many cases are concluded with either a guilty plea or a plea deal. If you are considering a plea deal you’ll need to know that by pleading you’ll be giving up your right to a trial. The judge will review your case and ask you if you understand the consequences of your decision.

Should I Take a Plea Deal?

Many times a plea deal will get you a lower charges and a lighter sentence. But sometimes you may want to take the case to trial. Generally, if the prosecution has a weak case or lack of evidence against you, there is a good possibility that you could be found not guilty. This allows you to have a clean record and no penalties. Plea deals are made through your attorney, who will review the deal with you. In cases where the potential penalty is high a plea deal is often a very good option. However, you should always discuss the matter with your lawyer before making any decisions. Usually, a plea deal is done rather quickly as part of a routine hearing. Prepare for such a circumstance ahead of time so you won’t be taken off guard.

Benefits of a Plea Deal

A plea deal needs to have some beneficial value you in order to be viable. Usually, the prosecutor will offer lesser charges in return for a guilty plea. To consider the offer you’ll need to compare the potential penalties of each option. In most cases, you’ll be allowed to plead to a lesser charge which can be much more beneficial for your criminal record. You may be required to perform community service or be on probation rather than serve time in jail. Consider all options with your lawyer before you make a decision.