A criminal trial can take up a huge chunk of the court’s time. It’s for this reason that most criminal cases are resolved via a plea bargain. Basically, this is an arrangement where the accused person pleads guilty to a lesser offense in exchange for a lenient sentencing.
However, like everything in life, a plea deal comes with its share of benefits and drawbacks. So, should you consider accepting a plea deal during your criminal case?
Why you might want to consider a plea deal
Generally, a plea deal comes with a condition that you must plead guilty to something. Once you do, you may not change your mind. That said, here are two situations when you might want to enter a plea deal:
1. To reduce the stress and social stigma that comes with a full trial
There is no doubt that a prolonged and highly publicized trial can be emotionally and financially taxing. Besides avoiding a trial, a plea deal also could mean that you will end up with a less severe criminal record which could be important if a conviction for the original charge would bring significant social stigma.
2. To quickly resolve your case
A criminal case that goes to a jury trial can be time-consuming. This means added expenses in legal fees not to mention the uncertainty that comes with the lengthy trial. You may avoid the hassle of going to trial by reaching a plea deal, paying your price to society and moving on with your life.
If you are indicted and charged with a crime, you will be faced with a number of choices. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may enter a plea deal. Understanding how a plea bargain works can help you make an informed decision and protect your rights and interests.