In the crowded court systems today, it is not unlikely to be put in a position to negotiate a plea bargain. Depending on the specific situation, accused persons may find themselves thinking about taking the plea bargain. While it would be better to be found innocent, there are a number of factors that can influence whether or not a plea bargain is accepted.
Your criminal defense lawyer will be able to provide you with valuable insight and advice depending on the circumstances of your case. If you take the bargain, your fate can be decided in a matter of minutes while a trial can take months of your time. A few benefits to accepting a bargain include:
Lighter Sentences: The fact of the matter is that you can never be 100% sure of a trial’s outcome. Taking a plea bargain gives everyone involved greater control of the outcomes so that no one is caught off guard.
Quick Resolution: Nothing is more stressful than being charged with a crime except maybe waiting to hear the verdict and sentencing. Resolution can be achieved in a very short amount of time with a bargain.
Save Money: Lawyers can be very expensive. The longer you are in need of their defense services, the more money you will be handing over. The effort and time it takes to effectively get a case through a trial can really break the bank. Handling a plea can be done in a much shorter amount of time.
No Hassles: You avoid the hassle of money, time, jury, judges, and all the other things that go into having a trial. Plea bargains are also very helpful to people who do not want to hire a defense attorney. It can simply be easier to plead guilty and take whatever the prosecution is offering.
No Jail Time: This is ideal for people that are currently being kept in custody. Maybe the circumstances of the case mean you do not qualify for bail or maybe you could not afford to pay the bail; either way, this is your chance to possibly be released as soon as the bargain is accepted. Granted, this will not be the case if jail time is part of the plea. The time is normally reduced overall so you should see some type of benefit.
Cleaner Record: Plea bargains are often associated with less severe charges. Not only does this affect overall sentencing, but your record may have a more “socially forgiving” offense. Severe charges can have far-reaching effects such as problems with future employment.
Less Publicity: Reputation can make or break a person. Whether you are famous or simply want to protect your community reputation, a trial can quickly make lots of personal things public. When the details of a case and consequently the trial make into the media, you and your family may experience negative consequences including embarrassment or ostracism. The story of a quick plea will not stay in the news as long as a drawn out trial. It is also important to remember that lots of additional information may be brought up during a trial that you may prefer to keep private.
If at any point during the criminal process you are unsure of how to proceed, consult with a professional defense attorney so that your situation can be analyzed properly.