Only a tiny percentage of criminal cases go to trial. Most of these cases are resolved through a plea deal between the prosecution and the defense. If you are facing criminal charges, you may be desperate to conclude your case by accepting almost any plea deal extended by the prosecution.
However, it is in your best interests to proceed carefully and safeguard your legal rights. You may end up in a better position by going against the charges against you instead of rushing into accepting the plea bargain.
Is your plea deal the best for you?
A plea bargain entails risk analysis by both the prosecution and the defense. Both sides make concessions based on the facts of the case, and a plea deal gives a sense of definite outcome and finality regarding your case. You end up giving up some of your rights, such as the right to appeal the conviction, while the prosecution may have to lower the charges against you or reduce the sentence recommendation they give the court.
Therefore, it is crucial to weigh the aspects of your case before deciding if the plea deal is what’s best for you. These may include:
- The strength and weaknesses of your case
- The terms of the offer
- The probable outcome of your trial
- The possible sentence upon conviction
You cannot be forced to take a plea bargain
The final call regarding the plea bargain rests on you. Remember, you will be pleading guilty to the charges as per the plea deal if you accept it, and it is important to make an informed decision on how to proceed. Learning more about your case, the evidence against you, and possible defense strategies will help you make the right call and protect your legal rights.