People who are arrested can depend on several protections guaranteed by the Constitution. The privilege of being tried before a jury of your peers is one of the best known of those but many people voluntarily give up that right and plead guilty. To find out why, read on.
A Deal You Cannot Refuse
Many defendants appear, plead guilty, and are sentenced in a single court appearance. In preparation for this, however, time is spent preparing the deal – the plea deal to be exact. Plea bargains have become increasingly common for those arrested for all but the most serious of charges. This manner of dealing with criminal charges has its benefits as well as its drawbacks.
Know Your Chances
Whether you are offered a plea bargain or not, legal representation is a must. There is no way for most laymen to understand the potential consequences of taking a given deal or not and it is not the prosecutor's job to educate defendants about plea bargains. It's vital that defendants understand the original charges, what charges they are pleading guilty to, and the benefit of one over the other. In some cases, taking a case to trial is a gamble. You may be offered a deal that results in a punishment that is far less than what might occur should you go to trial and be convicted of the charges. Be sure you discuss the plea deal and what might happen extensively with your criminal defense attorney before you agree to anything.
Some Advantages of a Plea Bargain for the Accused
The court process is slow and painful and some defendant just want to get the whole thing over with. Agreeing to a plea deal means almost instantaneous action, allowing defendants to move on. Taking a case to court also can be expensive. Attorney fees and court fees will need to be paid regardless of the outcome of the case. Trials can be stressful and tough on not just the defendants, but their families – plea bargains are over with a single (usually) appearance. Finally, if the state has good evidence against you, a plea deal cuts short the inevitable and allows you to be sentenced right away.
Some Advantages of a Plea Bargain for the State
Plea bargains are sought after and encouraged from the point of view of the state as well for several reasons. With some defendants being held in jail until the start of the trial, plea bargains free up jail space in city and county correctional facilities. Court calendars are crowded and scheduling more and more trials do nothing to alleviate the backups. Plea deals mean courtroom space is reserved for other matters. A plea deal may allow smoother sentencing for drug cases where confidential informants' identify can be kept secret. Finally, plea deals are considered convictions for those prosecutor's offices that keep up with such things. A plea deal is considered a win for the state.
Discuss plea deals with your attorney. Talk to a business like Daniels Long & Pinsel for more details.