The first step in a trial for some is to consider a plea bargain. In most cases, a plea bargain can be made outside court and make it so you never have to step foot inside the courtroom. There are a few reasons why you may want to consider a plea bargain. For instance, you can avoid the expense of going to trial if you consider taking a plea bargain.
Why would you want to avoid going to trial?
Another thing to remember is that anything that happens at trial is public. That means you could have people you know see you or be able to look up your records, which could hurt your reputation. Taking a plea deal helps you avoid this publicity completely.
Is money really a factor when it comes to offering a plea deal?
The prosecution also saves money by accepting a plea deal, which is why it's often offered to those who will be taken to trial. Since both sides face uncertainty, a plea deal will reduce expenses and give an outcome that both agree with.
What could happen if I refused to take a plea in lieu of trial?
If you go to trial without taking a plea deal, there's a possibility that you could face harsher penalties than what you've been offered. Once you're in the trial, it's not always possible to accept the deal. You'll be at the mercy of the prosecution and the judge, which is not as certain as taking the deal would be. This is one reason you should discuss the plea with your attorney and determine if it's a good deal worth accepting.
Source: American Bar Association, "How Courts Work," accessed Jan. 26, 2017