If you've been facing charges for a criminal act, you may already be aware of the potential for a plea bargain. A plea bargain can help you receive a less-severe penalty or, at the very least, know what to expect as a punishment if you take the plea deal.
There are dozens of reasons to consider a plea deal, but it's a good idea to think about why the prosecution offers them before you take one. Prosecutors offer plea deals as a way to cut down on the length of a case. They offer pleas to lower court costs and the burden on the court system. The plea may help the prosecution get information it needs on another party or be an exchange for other assets or information.
Why would you want to take a plea deal?
If you are guilty of the crime you're accused of and there is substantial evidence against you, taking a plea deal might help you get a reduced charge and lesser penalty than if you went to trial. It's hard to predict how a jury and judge will receive the case, so if you do go to trial, your life is in their hands and the hands of your defense attorney.
In a case where the prosecution's evidence is strong, taking a plea deal can mean that you have significantly fewer penalties. There are times when the prosecution may decrease your charges immensely for the purpose of having you testify against someone else. For example, if you're in a crime ring and can testify against the head of the organization, then you would be in a good position to receive a plea deal from the prosecution. Realize that taking a plea deal does mean you have to plead guilty to the crime, which is something your attorney may or may not advise based on the specifics of your case.
Our website has more information on criminal defense and what you can do if you've been charged. With the right help, you can fight the charges or seek out reduced charges.