What is a plea bargain?

people shaking hands

When facing a criminal trial, depending on the crime committed, you will likely be subjected to an array of harsh penalties that negatively affect all aspects of your life. In some cases, when the state has a strong case against you, they may offer you a plea bargain. Essentially, judges, prosecutors, and criminal defense attorneys work together to achieve their collective goals through plea deals. There are several benefits to accepting a plea bargain as it often results in reduced charges or a lesser sentence. However, in exchange, you must plead guilty to some or all of the charges in open court. Continue to follow along to learn more about plea bargains and discover how a determined Baldwin County Criminal Defense Lawyer can help you determine if accepting a plea bargain is in your best interest.

What are plea bargains?

When facing a criminal trial, you may be offered a plea bargain. A plea bargain is an agreement between a prosecutor and a defendant where you are required to plead guilty to some or all of the charges brought against you in exchange for reduced charges or a lesser sentence. However, you can only plead guilty if you committed the crime and confessed in open court before a judge. Typically, individuals who expect a guilty verdict at trial accept plea bargains. Many people wonder why plea bargains are offered to criminals. However, there are several benefits. Plea bargains can help prosecutors avoid a time-consuming trial that has no guarantee of success. It is pertinent to note that if a prosecutor offers you a plea bargain, you do not have to accept it.

When should defendants consider accepting this type of deal?

If you have been charged with a crime and the prosecutor has offered you a plea bargain it is imperative to work with your criminal defense attorney to determine if accepting the offer is in your best interests. Typically, defense attorneys will recommend accepting the deal if one of the following is true:

  • The state’s case against you is strong.
  • The plea bargain focuses on rehabilitation (diversion program).
  • The deal dramatically reduces the charges brought against you.
  • You would rather face a lighter sentence.
  • You do not want to risk the uncertainty associated with a criminal trial.
  • You want to avoid trial expenses.

After being advised of all the facts and options available, you may consider accepting a plea deal. However, you should not accept a plea bargain without first speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

If you are facing criminal charges, it is critical to retain the legal services of a qualified Baldwin County criminal defense attorney. Our determined team will work tirelessly to help you achieve a favorable outcome. Allow our firm to represent your interests today!