Why You Should Consider Plea Bargaining
Why do people accept plea bargain offers if it eliminates the chance of getting lighters sentences from the judge or jury? Well, there are several advantages of plea bargaining, for example, you:
Know Exactly What You Are Getting
If your case goes before a judge or jury, then it becomes very difficult to predict what will happen to you. Sure, your lawyer will probably tell you the maximum and minimum sentencing your charges carry, but these tend to vary widely. It's difficult to know whether you will get the maximum, minimum or something in between. By plea bargaining, you know exactly what the prosecutor is offering you in return.
Get Reduced Charges and Sentencing
Plea bargains usually involve a lessening of the original charge. For example, some of the lesser charges may be struck, or a charge's severity may be reduced. For example, a felony may be reduced to a misdemeanor. This is good on several fronts; for example, a misdemeanor looks better on your public record than a felony. Apart from that, reduced charges come with reduced sentences.
Resolve the Charges Faster
Some criminal cases tend to go on and on; delays crop up due to appeals, appearance of new evidence, postponements, appeals and such like things. All of this time you will be making trips to court and your lawyer's office, if you are not in jail. This not only interferes with your work or life (such as vacation or family issues), but it can also be very costly in terms of legal fees. You can avoid all the hassles by entering a plea bargain and getting done with the issue.
Avoid the Publicity
Courtroom trials generate a lot of publicity. Every testimony, defense, allegation is analyzed. Whether it is the local paper, residents or even national reporters (in high-profile cases), it is possible that your whole life and lifestyle may be laid bare by the time trial is over. Plea bargains, on the other hand, attract relatively little publicity. Sure, there might be a line or a paragraph in the local paper, but it will only be about your charges and sentencing, and not your private life.
Despite all these advantages, plea bargaining does have its drawbacks. For example, you may be tempted to confess a crime that you did not commit, and you forfeit your chances of getting acquitted of all charges (a possibility if the case goes to trial). Therefore, have a candid talk with a lawyer (such as one from Brian Walker Law Firm, PC) and evaluate everything before accepting a plea bargain.