Are Plea Bargains Worth It?
Before your case goes to trial, you have several options. You can opt to plead guilty or no contest, have your attorney negotiate a plea bargain, or choose to take your case to trial and let a jury decide. The advantages of taking a plea bargain may depend on the circumstances of your case, so it is important that you follow the advice of your attorney, who can discuss with you the advantages.
It can give peace of mind to those who have been accused, knowing that they could face fewer penalties and that prosecutors will no longer have cause to take action against a defendant for that cause. Also, this reduces the risk of taking a case to trial, where the outcome is at the mercy of a jury.
Taking a plea bargain may be used for any of the following:
- To reduce the amount of charges faced
- To reduce the severity of the charges
- To reduce the length of the sentenced imposed
- Motion to end imprisonment due to time that has already been served
- To avoid the lengthy trial process
Remember that if your case goes to trial, prosecutors find every way to convince jurors that a crime was committed beyond all reasonable doubt, no matter how thin the evidence may seem. At the same time, jurors can have the power to relieve someone, so much of the outcome will depend on the strength of your attorney’s counterarguments and the tenacity with which they defend you.
What happens during the plea bargain process?
In a vast majority of criminal cases, courts will want to explore the plea bargain option so as to reduce the amount of time spent in court and the added expense. This means that a large percentage of cases do get resolved through plea bargain. Your Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer and the prosecutor will discuss the case details in order to work out the plea bargain; this discussion could take place within a day or for as long as a few weeks.
The judge may choose not to accept the plea deal, but more likely than not, prosecutors can find a way to persuade judges. Judges will also question the accused individually intensively, just to make sure that he or she is aware of the decision to take a plea bargain and that the defendant can stand trial.
Why should I take a plea bargain?
Ultimately, you as the defendant, have the choice over whether or not you will accept the terms of the plea bargain. You must weigh the pros and cons of the bargain. Remember that when prosecutors offer these deals, they may simply want to close the case as quickly as possible.
Also, some prosecutors will want to offer a standardized plea bargain that is used across the board in different types of criminal cases, and may not necessarily be helpful to you. You can talk to our attorneys at The Hammer Law Firm, LLC to work out a plea bargain that is sensitive to your particular situation. We have a familiarity with the laws and, as former prosecutors, an intimate understanding of the local courts.
If you have been charged with a crime, then you need us on your case! Schedule a free, private case consultation with our attorneys to see how we can help.