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Is a plea deal a good deal?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Most criminal cases do not make it to a trial. The vast majority are settled through plea deals. In other words, the defendant pleads guilty. Now, either the country is experiencing a wave of remorse where everyone owns up to their mistakes, or there is something that makes plea deals the inevitable option for those who face charges.

You could say the system is heavily against going to trial. Prosecutors want you to take a plea deal, and the tools they have available to get you to do so are strong.

Prosecutors can push for maximum penalties, threaten to prosecute someone for several charges or threaten to prosecute them for a more serious charge with more severe consequences. They want you to take the deal they offer as it will score them a quick and easy win.

It can be hard to say no

The prosecutors can be so convincing that most people just forget the thought of going up against them and taking the case to trial. Instead, they take the deal offered and plead guilty to a charge. It might be the original charge but with the promise of a lesser sentence, or it might be a lesser charge, which again comes with a lesser sentence.

Why accepting a deal can seem like the best choice

Awaiting a trial can be a time of great uncertainty. Maybe you will win and walk free, or maybe you will lose — meaning the nightmare you are currently living will extend even further. Many defendants like the certainty that pleading guilty can bring. It means they know what the next few months or years of their life will be like and can get the sentence out of the way sooner.

You should never agree to a plea deal without legal guidance on your side. It may be the plea deal offered is your best option. It may be that you can seek a better deal. You may be able to get the charge dismissed and avoid any criminal record.


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